A Marriage Made In Heaven’: Vocus Hails Nextgen Deal
Vocus’s $807 million purchase of Nextgen Networks is “a marriage made in heaven,” according to Vocus CEO Geoff Horth. And as the full scale of the purchase sinks in, many industry observers would agree.
Not only has Vocus gained control of Nextgen’s vast 17,000km national fibre backhaul network and the planned – and supposedly well advanced – Australia Singapore Cable project linking Perth to Singapore and perhaps Jakarta, but it has also gained another cable project: the North West Cable System, which aims at linking on- and offshore oil facilities and mining ventures in WA’s north to Port Hedland and Darwin – and with a possible future extension to Perth, and thence to the eastern states.
The price to be paid by Vocus for acquisition of the North West system is $27 million.
The Singapore cable deal appears still up in the air, though Horth claims it is far more advanced that the other two contenders for a submarine Perth-Singapore link: Bevan Slattery’s SubPartners project and a venture by Trident and Azure Capital.
Vocus executive director James Spenceley reckons the overall $807 million price was well worth it. The Nextgen fibre backhaul network alone cost $1 billion to build and “it puts us in the same infrastructure league as Optus … this really was the last piece, it was the dream back in 2010 when we listed the business,” he told Communications Day.
“It does really bring all of those pieces together, so we can connect our very extensive fibre-optic cable network in Perth to our very extensive fibre-optic network on the east coast, and … have presences not just in capital cities but in regional and rural centres all around the country.”