Asia Online to spend $30m on local investments

Despite having five Australian internet service providers under its belt already, regional business internet company Asia Online is still on the lookout for prospective local partners.

John Hayden, spokesperson for Asia Online, said the company has $30 million to spend on Australian acquisitions over the next financial year. In the last month, it has acquired five ISPs for an undisclosed amount.

Earlier this week, the company announced it has purchased Brisbane Internet Technology, The Message eXchange of Sydney (TMX) and Adelaide's Dove. In late September, Asia Online acquired Internet Access Australia in Melbourne and Interact Technology Group in Canberra.

"The whole scheme is to build a pan-Asia Pacific network facilitating the internet and business use of the internet," Hayden told Computerorld.

Hayden said Asia Online is looking at other Australian companies which will offer complementary services to niche markets. "[Asia Online] is certainly talking to other companies," he said.

In addition, Hayden said Asia Online is also eyeing companies in Asian countries including Japan, Korea and China. It has already made investments in the Phillipines and Hong Kong, he said.

In terms of branding and integration of the new acquisitions, Hayden said Asia Online has no plans to separate each company from its established market.

"We do not intend to separate the brand or name from the marketplace. But the long term approach . . . is that companies have their own brand in their marketplace, but are also branded as Asia Online.

"We are saying if [companies] want to do business with Asia [in addition to locally], this is the company to do it with," Hayden said.

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