Uniti continues acquisition spree with $140m worth of Telstra assets

Uniti continues acquisition spree with $140m worth of Telstra assets

It's been less than two years since telco Uniti (ASX: UWL) listed on the ASX, yet with a relentless acquisitions strategy it continues to snatch larger shares of the legacy-dominated market.

This morning the Adelaide-based internet service provider made its latest purchase; $140 million worth of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) exchange assets from Telstra.

It marks Uniti's fourth major acquisition over the course of 16 months, including FTTP network LBNCo for $100 million in August 2019 and 1300 Australia for $78 million in December 2019.

The biggest of the buyouts was finalised in November, wherebuy Uniti bought OptiComm for almost $700 million following an intense six-month angling process. This price tag is worth around three quarters of the company's current $930 million market cap.

In total, Uniti has purchased almost $1 billion in assets in a single year.

Today's purchase of the Telstra Velocity arm and South Brisbane Exchange assets will add approximately 50,000 FTTP active premises to this burgeoning portfolio.

It is estimated to increase Uniti's accretive earnings per share by around 13 per cent.

Managing director and CEO Michael Simmons (pictured) says the transaction further solidifies newcomer Uniti's presence in the competitive market.

"This is another remarkable milestone for our young company," says Simmons.

"To have secured such a large FTTP network aligned to our core strategy which can be integrated quickly to grow our 'core plus' infrastructure earnings is a wonderful way to end what has been a completely transformative year for Uniti Group."

Under the sale agreement, Telstra will become a retail service provider for Uniti, meaning Australia's biggest telco will sell to and deal with the end user on Uniti's behalf.

Simmons says this is the most "significant" win of the deal.

"The agreement struck with Telstra for it to become an RSP of our wireless and internet business is perhaps the most significant strategic aspect of this transaction, given the large universe of presently untapped greenfield property opportunities it will enable us to target," says Simmons.

"Needless to say, with the Velocity transaction adding more than $21 million in annual EBITDA and delivering an approximate 13 per cent increase in earnings per share we are delighted to have been able to secure these prized FTTP assets."

All steps taken by the Uniti since its IPO indicate the young telco is hungry to become a disruptor.

Its share price at the time of writing (AEDT 11:39am) is $1.48.

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