Vocus to acquire fibre network owner Nextgen for $600m

29 June 2016 |

Vocus is set to acquire Nextgen Networks for $600m (A$807m) as the operator seeks to beef up its fibre assets.

The deal will see Vocus acquire Nextgen’s backhaul assets – gaining 112 points of presences – as well as its North West Cable System (NWCS), including the option to buy the Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) for a deferred consideration of up to A$54 million. The agreement does not include Melbourne-based Nextgen’s data centre business, Metronode, which operates as a separate entity. 

"We think it would be highly unlikely that anyone would ever build a AU$1.2 billion inter-capital network around Australia again, so we sort of class this as a bit of an invaluable asset in that respect," executive director James Spenceley said in a media call on Wednesday.

"And given its scale and reach, we put it in a class of Optus in terms of a comparison in infrastructure reach and breadth, and it really places us sort of in that -- give or take -- around the second infrastructure reach in the country now, combined with the Vocus business,” he added.

Nextgen is said to be one of Australia’s largest fibre backhaul networks covering about 17,000km across capital cities to regional and remote areas. Pre-acquisition, Vocus had access to between 50 to 60 PoPs; upon completion of the deal, it will have access to 112 PoPs. 

Vocus is expected to raise A$652 million to fund the acquisition through an entitlement offer and placement, with the rest coming from existing debt facilities.