Seven proposes cash takeover bid for Unwired

Stokes about-faces on earlier claim of no takeover interest

Despite previously claiming it had no plans to buy out Unwired, the Seven Network has proposed a takeover bid for 100 per cent of the wireless broadband provider of $0.45 a share.

Seven Network chairman, Kerry Stokes, said in an ASX announcement this morning that an Unwired purchase would let Seven boost its digital media platform. Unwired has rights to more WiMAX spectrum in regional Australia than any other company.

"Despite delays in certification of the technology to date, we believe in the potential of WiMAX as a mobile broadband solution," Stokes said.

In the proposed bid, Seven's wholly-owned subsidiary, Network Investments, would make an off-market cash offer to buy all the shares in Unwired for $0.45 each.

The offer price may rise to $0.50 a share if Seven acquired a "relevant interest" in at least 90 per cent of those shares by a particular date after November 8, 2007.

"We are acquiring a strong business and spectrum that will build our company's abilities to compete in new media technologies," Stokes said.

The offer follows the recent purchase by VoIP provider Engin - itself 34.3 per cent owned by Seven - of 19.9 per cent of Unwired shares.

"While Unwired's business has the potential to be very successful, it faces substantial capital requirements and execution risk in expanding its network to deploy WiMAX," the ASX statement read.

If Unwired was bought out by Seven, the wireless broadband provider would benefit from the larger companies strength and leverage - boosting value to Unwired shareholders, the statement said.

Engin, for instance, would be better placed to gain from Unwired's planned WiMAX rollout - but without Engin having to actually fund the construction of that network, it said.

Unwired chief financial officer, Ian McGregor, said Unwired's plans to deploy WiMAX wouldn't change as a result of any acquisition.

From the wireless broadband provider's perspective, a Seven purchase would build stronger foundations for the company and its plans rather than an immediately-needed cash injection, he said.

"Last year, we raised $15 million and that would keep us going until WiMAX deployment. And then we had a $5 million injection from Mitsui," McGregor said. "The funds now are enough to keep our existing business running."

That said, an acquisition by Seven would be great news, he said.

"They realise that we hold the spectrum for WiMAX," McGregor said

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?