Superloop to boost offerings with BigAir acquisition


news Fibre network provider Superloop has announced its intent to acquire BigAir Group, a telco that manages one of the largest metropolitan fixed wireless networks in Australia.

The proposed deal will see Superloop acquire 100% of BigAir shares by an expected close date of December 2016. It is however, subject to the approval of BigAir’s shareholders and the courts, as well as other conditions.

“The acquisition of BigAir will allow us to leverage our fibre network plus provide us with new wireless capabilities to deliver low cost gigabit connectivity,” said Bevan Slattery, Superloop CEO.

According to an ASX announcement from Superloop, the directors of BigAir will all recommend that BigAir shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, “in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding that the scheme is in the best interests of BigAir’s shareholders”.

Jason Ashton, CEO of BigAir, commented: “I am delighted to be able to bring this proposal to BigAir shareholders. The benefit that Superloop’s experience, capabilities and fibre infrastructure brings to the BigAir offering are transformational, and I am excited to work together with Bevan as part of Superloop.”

BigAir owns and operates one of Australia’s largest metropolitan fixed wireless broadband networks and provides cloud and managed services solutions to mid-sized corporates.

The proposed acquisition is expected to increase opportunities for Superloop’s fibre business, allowing the firm to accelerate the rollout of fibre across Australia, in what some observers say could be an alternative to the NBN.

The deal will be in part funded with $65 million the firm plans to raise via a placement of new shares to investors in Australia and New Zealand.

The new shares will be offered at $3.00 per share, which represents a 9.6% discount compared with Superloop’s last closing price of $3.31 on 13 September 2016.

In its announcement, Superloop expressed plans to “hyper-scale” BigAir’s wireless and fibre extender capability, which in conjunction with Superloop’s fibre network, will allow it to build a “low-cost access alternative for Gigabit+ speeds”.

If the acquisition goes ahead, BigAir’s managed services will be restructured and rebranded to create a “fully integrated and focused managed service provider business with a clear statement on market position and product offerings”, Superloop said.