Vocus sells for $20m to investment fund

Former Unwired CEO David Spence to become chairman of the new entity as it lists on the ASX

Vocus Communications has been sold to an ASX-listed private equity firm for $20 million.

Vocus shareholders will receive a cash payout and ordinary shares in the Investec Wentworth Private Equity managed First Opportunity Fund (FOF).

However, Vocus shareholders will retain control of the company with former Unwired CEO, David Spence, becoming chairman.

Spence stepped down from his responsibilities after six years at the helm of the ISP in February.

The company will be renamed Vocus Communications Limited and will now be listed on the ASX. It will also seek $6 million in additional capital through a share raising and IPO underwritten by Investec.

Vocus CEO James Spenceley said the deal would give the company “much more visibility” in the market along with access to funds.

“We remain firmly committed to delivering the highest possible customer service quality from a specialised and talented team,” he said in a statement. Vocus reported $947,000 profit before tax for the 2009 financial year and is forecasting this to rise to $4.39 million this year.

The news follows the sale of Pipe Networks last year to TPG Telecom in a $373 million deal.

In March, Pipe Networks shareholders voted in favour of the acquisition million and handed TPG an extensive dark fibre network between the eastern states of Australia, including the Pipe Pacific Cable (PPC-1) link between Sydney and Guam.

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