Vocus Communications’ acquisition of FX Networks and its intercity fibre throughout New Zealand recently made headline news – and rightfully so. The combined capability promises an exciting future with unprecedented opportunities for customers.
The union of these two high performance networks has created a complementary product set and a true end-to-end trans-Tasman solution.
While Vocus’ international network assets (and multiple data centres) fit nicely with FX, the two companies align well in other areas: a ‘can do’ culture; an appetite for innovation; and that rare ability to respond fast and positively.
They shared similar experiences in the early days too, both challengers to the traditional telco market at the time. From the start, in 2003, the FX team heralded fair and transparent pricing, a high performing, highly available new network for the new millennium, and a genuine resolve to deliver customer service excellence.
Not surprisingly, FX attracted many top end, very established clients – in fact, almost half of the largest 100 companies in New Zealand have gone on to rely on its network to deliver essential services.
Today, its customers are data heavyweights with a zero tolerance for network downtime: think hospitals, emergency services, government agencies, telco carriers, ISPs, enterprises and more. An outage for any of these could be catastrophic.
While the company’s success is the sum of many parts, at the heart of it is the smart and modern design of the FX network.
From the bottom of the South Island, to the far north of the North Island, FX’s national network has been designed to meet the most demanding requirements in the country.
Its engineers have created a world-class fibre infrastructure that’s built for availability, performance and speed.
The core FX network, operating largely on its own 4,200km of fibre, can deliver in speed increments up to 100Gbps (and up to 8Tbps per fibre pair on existing core infrastructure). For those customers who value flexibility, it can provision n x 10Gb of on net services in a matter of a few days. And for those customers who must have diversity, its fully redundant architecture means there’s always another path for traffic to take.
Now, with the merging of the two networks, a pure trans-Tasman asset has been created – and the third largest data operator in New Zealand declared.
Customers who do business on both sides of the ditch can now access a single point of contact, with control and visibility across the entire network. If issues do arise, they can be quickly identified and resolved by one of our engineers.
This latest acquisition demonstrates Vocus’ continued commitment to investing in New Zealand, particularly at a time when others are scaling back their trans-Tasman activities.
The two brands will live side-by-side for the interim period, with the aim of moving to one single identity in 2015.
For more information on the new combined capabilities now available with Vocus and FX, contact your account manager.
To view FX website www.fx.net.nz
FX interesting info:
- Offers private networking, Internet, telephony and storage as a service
- Touches 99 per cent of the Ultra Fast Broadband population with its fibre network
- Touches 100 per cent of the existing last mile network
- One of only three inter-city networks in New Zealand, and the only modern network built in the past decade
- The first to sell Layer 2 services, and the first to sell IPV6 in New Zealand
- Employs more than 130 staff in offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch
San Francisco, CA & Sydney Australia, September 8, 2014. Vocus Communications Ltd (ASX:VOC) is pleased to announce a partnership with leading DDoS mitigation provider Black Lotus.
Vocus continues to be a highly successful supplier of IP Transit services across Australia and New Zealand and with the growing prevalence of DDoS attacks threatening customer networks; it was time to rethink our DDoS strategy. Vocus’ goal is to provide customers with a cost effective solution, offering best of breed mitigation options, delivering protection customers can be confident in.
Vocus has recently invested significantly in DDoS detection infrastructure, ubiquitously covering all ingress points to the network, creating an opportunity to partner with an industry leader to provide class leading mitigation capability. Black Lotus was an obvious choice.
Founded in 2007, California-based Black Lotus deliversaward-winning DDoS protection, ranging from full network defence to around-the-clock website and server protection.Black Lotus secures entire BGP networks through rapid provisioning of DDoS mitigation services on a global terabit-scale network.
Black Lotus has long planned a presence in the Australian and New Zealand market, with plans to establish an operational regional DDoS scrubbing center in Sydney with the help of Vocus by December 1, 2014. With Vocus, Black Lotus has found a partner to provide collocation, transport and transit services that can meet the demands of a security company that some of the world’s largest organisations rely on.
“We are seeing a phenomenal increase in DDoS attacks aimed at our customers and our own network, from many vectors. Protecting our network and our customers is our priority, and with Black Lotus we have created an opportunity to provide a cost effective solution to the DDoS problem. DDoS is a complex issue, sophisticated techniques used in common attacks are always evolving and keeping upwith the arms race requires dedication and resources. Rather than reinventthe wheel I see Black Lotus as the perfect partner to provide our ongoing mitigation capability.” Luke MacKinnon, COO Vocus Communications.
“Due to the higher cost of network bandwidth and the island affect surrounding IP connectivity in and out of Australia, Internet traffic availability is especially precious in Australia and New Zealand,” said Arman Khalili, CEO of Black Lotus. “With Vocus, we can strategically expand our footprint to provide our local and global customers lower latency and reliable uptime for cost-effective mitigation, ensuring they are online regardless of DDoS attack size or vector.”
Australia and New Zealand are part of Black Lotus’ strategic global scrubbing solution, and with their addition the company will have a total of five global centres deployed currently.
About Vocus Communications (ASX:VOC)Vocus Communications is an ASX listed leading telecommunications provider of Data Center, Dark Fiber and International Internet connectivity across Australia, NZ, Singapore and the US. The company provides high performance, high availability, and highly scalable communications solutions, which allow service providers to quickly and easily deploy new services for their own customer base.
About Black Lotus Communications (BL)
Black Lotus Communications is a security innovator that pioneered the first commercially viable DDoS mitigation solutions. These advanced solutions enhance the security posture of small and medium businesses and enterprise clients while reducing capital expenditures, managing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving earnings and retention. Breakthrough developments at Black Lotus include the world’s first DDoS-protected hosting network, the first IPv6 DDoS mitigation environment, and the first highly effective Layer 7 attack mitigation strategy. For more information, visit www.blacklotus.net or follow Black Lotus on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ddosprotection.
Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) is pleased to announce another record result for the financial year ended 30 June 2014, with underlying net profit after tax up 53% to $13.6m.
- Revenue up 38% to $92.3m
- Underlying EBITDA* up 48% to $33.1m
- Underlying NPAT up 53% to $13.6m
- Statutory NPAT up 154% to $12.9m
- Underlying EPS up 41% to 16.14 cents
- Operating cash flow up 100% to $30.6m
- FY14 total dividend up 80% to 1.8 cents per share, fully franked
The growth in FY2014 was achieved primarily through organic growth, in addition to a full year contribution from Ipera Communications, acquired in January 2013.
The fastest growing revenue segments were Fibre and Ethernet, up 87% and Internet, up 39%. The Fibre network now reaches over 1,000 buildings and Internet traffic grew by 77%.
Given the strong results, a final dividend of 1.0 cents per share, fully franked, will be paid, bringing total dividends for FY2014 to 1.8 cents per share, up 80%.
James Spenceley, CEO, said “This has been a significant year for Vocus. We have delivered another record result which is testament to our clearly developed strategy, aligned to increasing demand for data coupled with cloud computing and increased IT outsourcing trends.
“The recent acquisition of the Bentley Data Centre in Perth, the investment in the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable connecting Perth and Singapore and our upcoming acquisition of New Zealand’s FX Networks positions Vocus as one of the leading integrated fibre, Internet and data centre providers across Australia and New Zealand.”
*Excludes foreign exchange gains and losses, gains on IRU prepayment and acquisition costs
Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) is pleased to announce it has expanded its data centre presence in Western Australia by entering into an agreement to buy the state of the art Bentley Data Centre from ASX listed IT solutions provider ASG Group Limited (ASX:ASG).
The data centre is located on the fringes of the Perth CBD in the Bentley Technology Park and is approximately 4km from Vocus’ existing Perth data centre. The Bentley Data Centre opened in 2011 and services some of Australia’s largest mining and utilities companies under long term contracts.
ASG is also a tenant of the data centre providing hosting services to their managed services clients. As part of the acquisition, Vocus will become preferred supplier to ASG for all telecommunications services both locally in Perth and across Australia.
The purchase price for the data centre is $11.7m and is funded from existing cash resources. The acquisition is forecast to generate annualised EBITDA of approximately $2.0 million and to be EPS accretive in the first year.
Vocus CEO, James Spenceley said, “The acquisition continues our investment in Perth and provides Vocus with additional resources to serve the fast-growing Western Australia market.
We are delighted to acquire the high quality Bentley Data Centre and secure the preferred supplier relationship with ASG, one of the largest IT solutions providers in Australia.
The Bentley Data Centre has many long-term, blue chip customers and will provide Vocus with additional cross-selling opportunities and further redundancy for existing operations.
We look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with these clients and with ASG for many years to come.”
Creates the leading trans-Tasman Telco
Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) is pleased to announce it has entered into agreements with the shareholders of FX Networks Limited (FX) to acquire 100% of the issued capital of the New Zealand fibre provider.
FX owns a unique and high quality fibre optic network consisting of 4,132 kms of modern ducted fibre cable covering both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The company has 365 customers including 43 of the Top 100 companies in New Zealand.
Vocus will acquire FX for an enterprise value of NZ$115.8m (~A$107.7m). The FX business is expected to deliver NZ$13.5-$14.5m of EBITDA in the first 12 months post acquisition (excluding transaction and integration expenses).
The combination of Vocus and FX strengthens both businesses. Vocus will emerge as the third largest network operator in NZ and the clear leader in trans-Tasman telecommunications and data centres.
Vocus CEO, James Spenceley said, “FX has built an excellent fibre asset reaching all major population centres across New Zealand. There exists an exciting opportunity in New Zealand to mirror the success we have had in Australia as the only integrated provider of fibre, Internet and data centres. The FX acquisition adds the missing fibre piece to our existing data centre and Internet investment in New Zealand”.
FX CEO, David Heald said, “This transaction allows FX to move to the next phase of its corporate development. We have fundamentally completed the build of New Zealand’s most modern fibre network. The addition of Vocus’ financial strength and other NZ assets together with a shared culture focused on delivering exceptional outcomes to customers, means this transaction will give a positive outcome for both shareholders and customers alike”.
The acquisition is fully funded funded via current cash holdings, a new multicurrency senior debt facility with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Vocus scrip issued to FX shareholders. FX shareholders may accept a combination of shares and/or cash (up to a cap of NZ$20.5m). Depending on acceptances by FX shareholders, Vocus will issue between 8.8m – 13.1m shares issued at A$4.40 per share, a 5% discount to the 5 day VWAP and a 1.3% premium to the 30 day VWAP prior to 30 June 2014.
The structure of the financing will provide Vocus with an additional unused debt facility of circa A$40m to continue to seek growth opportunities.
Vocus has received agreements from 77.1% of FX shareholders indicating they will accept the offer and the transaction is expected to complete early Q2 FY2015.
Formal process and indicative timing
Completion of the FX acquisition will be subject to a number of conditions precedent including (but not limited to):
• Vocus shareholder approval for the purposes of ASX Listing Rule 7.1, to be obtained at an EGM scheduled to be held in late August 2014, with a notice of meeting to be despatched in late July 2014
• Acceptances by more than 90% of FX shareholders of the offer:
• Takeover Offer Document, Target Company Statement and Independent Expert’s Report released in late August 2014
• 50% of the shares issued to FX shareholders being subject to escrow conditions
• Receipt of change of control consents from certain key commercial counterparties
• No event having occurred under Vocus’ funding arrangements which would allow Commonwealth Bank of Australia to withdraw its funding commitment to Vocus
For more information: James Spenceley
Chief Executive Officer
T: 02 8999 8999
About Vocus (ASX:VOC): Vocus Communications is an ASX listed leading telecommunications provider of Data Centre, Dark Fibre and International Internet connectivity across Australia, NZ, Singapore and the US. The company provides high performance, high availability, and highly scalable communications solutions, which allow service providers to quickly and easily deploy new services for their own customer base.