Seven service Engin for $26m

The Seven Network is set to fork out $26 million for a 33 percent shareholding in broadband telephony company, Engin.

In what's being dubbed as a "strategic partnership", Engin will take three Seven executives as directors on its board. These include Seven Network Limited director, Ryan Stokes, executive director, Bruce McWilliam and head of Seven's digital media business, Rohan Lund.

"It's an exciting partnership because Engin's telephony offerings and customer care services have the ability to touch customers while Seven and Yahoo have the ability to deliver to customers," Engin CEO, Ilkka Tales said.

He added there are strong expectations from both parties that the partnership would accelerate the growth of Engin and help push its telephony services to mainstream audiences through Seven's digital television, online and print portals.

Although Tales would not elaborate on future collaborative ventures with Seven, he said both parties were looking to develop new services to converge Internet telephony with set-top boxes, mobile handsets and PCs.

In a jointly issued statement, Seven Network director Ryan Stokes, said Engin's scalable customer platform and retail distribution network was well positioned to take advantage of the continuing growth of broadband in Australia.

"Seven is rapidly developing its presence in new communications technologies and consumer services, building on our strengths in media," he said. "We are developing a fully integrated media company across all forms of communications and Engin provides a strong platform for our development in digital media."

The partnership will get the green light if shareholders agree to the sale at a meeting set for October 30. Tales said the board of directors is "strongly recommending" a vote in favour.

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