iiNet is purchasing 100 per cent of the shares in both Internode and Agile. Internode and Agile will continue to operate as separate business units within the group, retaining their current staff and offices. The current management team, including founder Simon Hackett, are all continuing with the company group.
Under the transaction agreement, iiNet will pay $105m for the deal, in a mixture of cash and shares. Subject to appropriate procedural conditions, the sale is expected to be completed by 29th February 2012
Founded in 1991, Internode is Australia’s largest privately held broadband services company. The transaction will cement the combined company group’s position as the second largest DSL broadband services company in Australia.
Mr. Hackett has accepted an offer that includes granting him a 7.5 per cent equity stake in the iiNet group, and making him a Significant Shareholder in the listed company.
Simon Hackett said "We believe the best interests of Internode’s customers, employees and shareholders are served by joining forces with a corporately and culturally aligned business such as iiNet," he said.
"With the maturing of the broadband market, Australia is entering an era where the NBN will drive market economics and, in that environment, scale wins. By merging with iiNet, Internode gains access to economies of scale that will ensure its broadband services remain superbly capable and competitive in a market where the major companies will be competing fiercely for customers."
"There’s great synergy between iiNet and Internode. iiNet operates in complementary geographic areas, it maintains compatible technologies and it has a strong cultural fit, in terms of caring for customers. Internode and iiNet are the only Australian ISPs to consistently post 90%+ rankings on Roy Morgan Research’s ISP customer satisfaction surveys, an amazing 10% ahead of the next competitor."
"Internode provides iiNet with the benefits of a well-run business with loyal customers, great staff, and a high-performance national and international network. Internode also significantly broadens and deepens the proportion of business, corporate and government customers served by the group."
iINet’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Malone said the acquisition of Internode represented an opportunity to quickly build presence in key growth markets. "This acquisition will deliver significant network and technical assets, while increasing iiNet’s presence in the South Australian, Tasmanian and eastern seaboard markets," he said. "It will also accelerate our penetration into the enterprise, government and small business sectors, which are a key strategic focus for us."
Simon Hackett said Internode’s customers and staff would benefit from the change of company ownership. “It’s business as usual," he said. “All of our customer services and the quality of care from our dedicated and friendly staff members will continue. With access to larger ADSL2+ coverage of the iiNet group (who use the same DSL equipment as Internode), customers can look forward to a dramatic increase in the geographic reach of our flagship ‘Easy Broadband ADSL2+’ and Fetch TV services."
"Internode will also be a part of a group with public market access to capital and the credibility of being part of a major ASX-listed company when pursuing corporate and government sales. What has always been great about Internode – its commitment to innovation, quality and customer service – will get even better."