Telecom NZ to buy PowerTel for $357M

Telco industry consolidation continues in 2007

Telecom New Zealand announced today it had reached an agreement to acquire 100 percent of ASX-listed voice and data carrier PowerTel.

Telecom New Zealand chief executive Theresa Gattung announced the plan to acquire the PowerTel shares which has been unanimously endorsed by the PowerTel directors, according to the company.

The proposal involves Telecom New Zealand paying $AU2.30 per share in cash by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Telecom New Zealand's chief financial officer Marko Bogoievski said the acquisition brings two "strongly complementary" businesses together and is a step towards the consolidation of the Australian telecommunications industry.

"It provides significant benefits to Telecom [New Zealand] by enabling AAPT to leverage its investment in service capability and it gives us the scope over time to bring more of our customers onto the combined access network rather than servicing them through wholesale arrangements," Bogoievski said. "This is a very positive step for the development of our Australian business."

The transaction values PowerTel at approximately $AU357 million including net debt and the acquisition will be funded by a combination of cash and Telecom's existing debt facilities.

Telecom has also entered into an option agreement to acquire 10 percent of PowerTel's shares on issue from its major shareholder TVG.

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