BigAir acquires AccessPlus

Expands education sector presence

BigAir (ASX:BGL) has moved to grab a larger share of Australia’s university-aged wireless internet users with its signing of a binding agreement to acquire AccessPlus for $5 million.

AccessPlus, an outsourced managed internet services provider, focuses on the tertiary accommodation market and has some 20 sites under management in Australia.

The acquisition follows BigAir’s procurement of the student accommodation site agreements and network assets of Star-Tech Communications in July 2010.

In an ASX statement, the company said AccessPlus would operate as a wholly owned subsidiary within the BigAir Group. AccessPlus founder and managing director, Neil Thompson, will remain in the role and join the BigAir management team.

BigAir also intends to install its high-speed fixed wireless backhaul networking into each AccessPlus student accommodation site, interconnecting with high-speed local access wired and wireless networks installed and owned by AccessPlus.

This would allow for the provision of faster and more affordable internet data, voice and video offerings to tertiary students in residences across the country.

As a result of the acquisition, BigAir will also carry out a review of the delivery to existing services under the BigAir Universe Broadband and AccessPlus systems.

The acquisition is also expected to add some $1.5 million in revenue and $0.5 in EBITDA during the 2011 financial year and $3.9 million in revenue and $1.5 million in the 2012 financial year.

BigAir has been highly expansionistic in the past year. In addition to its Star-Tech buy, the company succeeded in making an off-market takeover offer for Clever Communications (ASX:CVA) in November last year.

Also in November 2010, the telco entered into a network sharing partnership with virtual network operator Azzurri Australia under which the company would offer WiMax connectivity to its business customers as part of its converged managed services portfolio.

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @tlohman

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

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