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UPDATED Optus Pays $250M For Amaysim In Effort To Grow Mobile Base

Days after cutting a questionable deal with Harvey Norman, Optus has moved to acquire listed mobile phone and data business Amaysim – who at one stage was flogging grey imported smartphones. The business has over one million customers.

SingTel Optus who are looking to grow their mobile business via the acquisition of Amaysim have secured an all-cash deal valued at $250 million, or $53 million more than its market capitalisation at the close of play on Friday.

Amaysim is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator that resells mobile phone and data plans on the Optus network, it is the fourth-largest mobile provider in Australia with some 1.19 million subscribers.

Unlike Telstra who have an exclusive deal with JB Hi Fi who are currently turning over around $1.5 Billion in smartphone sales Optus is in bed with Harvey Norman who are not seen as a major player in the smartphone market.

Optus has set up an Optus Business Hub within one of Harvey Norman’s Sydney stores in an effort to try and attract business customers to their network.

A second and third hub in Queensland is planned next year.

Shares in Harvey Norman traded down at $4.56 on the announcement.

The big retailer has struggled to attract business customers in the past, and at one stage PC vendor Compaq who at the time was the #1 PC Company in Australia moved to set up their own stores in business districts a move that saw Harvey Norman Chairman Gerry Harvey kick them out of his stores across Australia. Today Compaq is owned by Hewlett Packard.

Amaysim’s board, chaired by former Metcash boss Andrew Reitzer and advised by Luminis Partners, is understood to be keen to pursue the deal, and is willing to recommend shareholders support the mooted offer.

Amaysim offers customers cheap internet and voice calls using Optus’ 4G Plus network across Australia under an agreement that was due to expire in June 2022.

ChannelNews understands that the Company has had discussions with other parties including Telstra and TPG Vodafone.

According to the AFR Amaysim had 830,000 recurring mobile subscribers in the year to June 30, according to a recent presentation to shareholders, and another 350,000 pay as you go customers to take its total count to 1.18 million. Its annual mobile recurring revenue was worth $205 million on June 30.

The bid is expected to value Amaysim at more than $200 million. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is advising SingTel Optus, sources said.

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