Shareholders approve TPG's $373M PIPE buy-out

Final approval will be sought in March

Pipe Networks shareholders have voted in favour of a $373 million acquisition by TPG Telecom.

The deal will hand TPG — which entered a trading halt this morning -- an extensive dark fibre network between the eastern states of Australia, including the Pipe Pacific Cable (PPC-1) link between Sydney and Guam.

Shareholders voted in 94 per cent in favour of the deal. Final approval for the deal will be sought in the Brisbane Supreme Court on March 17.

TPG announced its intention to acquire Pipe late last year, and would not consider paying more than $6.30 per share.

Pipe shareholders had expressed concern since the proposed deal was announced. One shareholder told ARN the deal was a “disaster for the industry” and claimed TPG CEO, David Teoh, was known as a tough deal maker.

Teoh will remain CEO of SP Telemedia, formed in early 2008 under $230m acquisition of Soul Communications by TPG.

The PPC-1 cable project was near collapse last year after funding was pulled, but ISPs agreed to sign on as early customers.

An iiNet spokesman said the deal was positive for the industry.

An Internode spokesperson told ARN last year the deal would create a “serious” conflict of interest between TPG and Pipe’s wholesale customers.

Pipe was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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