Superloop set to buy tech services firm Acurus for $15m

Superloop set to buy tech services firm Acurus for $15m

Superloop CEO and managing director Paul Tyler.

After completing $140 million worth of divestments from Singapore and Hong Kong assets in April, internet infrastructure provider Superloop (ASX: SLC) has signed an agreement today to purchase Melbourne-based technology firm Acurus Holdings for $15 million.

The acquisition will assist the Bevan Slattery-founded business in building scale as a challenger provider of integrated telco services in the Australian market by growing white-label broadband relationships amongst its subscriber base.

Founded in 2004, IT consultancy Acurus provides technology service including managed service offerings and cyber security to businesses such as Energy Australia, OfficeWorks, Bakers Delight, Zen Energy, Roy Morgan and Hume Bank.

"We're excited by this acquisition as it expands Superloop’s addressable market beyond traditional telcos and into the growing domain of non-traditional retailers,” Superloop CEO and managing director Paul Tyler said.

“With this newly acquired white label telco capability, brands from any industry who are looking to broaden their core offering with turnkey telco services now have a great option.

"Customers will have access to the well-regarded expertise of the Acurus team for integrated white label services combined with Superloop's high-speed infrastructure-on-demand platform and network assets.”

The agreement, which comprises $12 million in cash and $3 million in Superloop shares, will be funded from Superloop’s existing cash reserves and includes both the Acurus Anex white-label platform and the company's managed services provider business.

Acurus could be entitled to an additional $5 million in earn-out payments, depending on whether it hits performance-related stretch targets and operational milestones before the purchase is completed – which is expected to be in July 2022.

Operating in the consumer, business and wholesale connectivity segments, Brisbane-headquartered Superloop is a leading provider of connectivity and managed services in Australia.

All three segments leverage Superloop’s investments in physical infrastructure assets that include fibre, subsea cables and fixed wireless, and Superloop’s software platforms.

The securing of Acurus is consistent with Superloop's strategy to build scale as a challenger provider of integrated telco services in the Australian market.

"It's the next step in our strategy of growing our portfolio and customer base across all three of our customer segments, to monetise the core Superloop infrastructure," Tyler said.  

"Our purpose remains to enable better internet through competition. The challenger segment in the telco industry continues to grow towards the 30 per cent market share vision we outlined to investors in November 2021. We intend to continue to be a major catalyst of that growth.

"The acquisition also continues our focus of delivering superior returns to shareholders. The recent sales of our Hong Kong network and parts of our Singapore network have released capital that we will continue to deploy in organic growth and acquisitions, such as Acurus, that add new capability to the overall Superloop offer."

Customers of the Acurus white label platform will be able to use Superloop’s high-speed network and national broadband network connectivity once the deal is finalised.

SLC shares were up 3.8 per cent at 82 cents each at 11:30am AEST, although that is still significantly down on their $1.20 mark at the start of 2022.

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