Capital Energy, ABT takeover moves satellite net closer

A satellite and broadband telecommunications network for regional Australia will be established before the end of the year, following the $120 million acquisition of Australian Business Technologies (ABT).

West Australian mining company Capital Energy announced the acquisition of the local technology services company yesterday.

Seppp Stepanian, ABT's managing director and one of its three shareholders, said the $120 million pricetag would be finalised before the end of the week. The deal is also subject to final board approval, he said.

The acquisition provides ABT with a much-needed capital injection to build its planned satellite telecommunications network for regional Australia, Stepanian said. The company announced a significant distribution deal with Israeli satellite communications company Gilat last month, which paves the way for the network to go live.

"ABT will be a new company and will operate with three wholly-owned subsidiaries," Stepanian explained.

The main subsidiary will be focused on providing satellite and broadband services to the regional market. "The infrastructure has been ordered, and we will take it to the market by the end of November," Stepaniain said.

Trading as Australian Business Technologies, the second company will be the integration arm of the organisation, Stepanian said. That company will forge into the corporate and government sectors, he said.

The third business will focus on ABT's core business of facility management services, Stepanian said.

The three directors of Australian Business Technologies have become the industry's latest multimillionaires following the $120 million acquisition.

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