If you're in the USA you probably think that title has a typo, but AAPT is the #3 telecom in Australia, and a subsidiary of Telecom New Zealand. The company runs a network having some 89 PoPs in Australia and has capacity on various cables from there to the world. According to various reports Pacnet has bid some $420M for it, although it remains unclear just how solid the basis is for those reports.
Pacnet has become increasingly aggressive since being constructed from the pieces of Asia Netcom and other assets in the region. Those assets remain focused on Asia, although they have some facilities and customers outside its main region. Interest in AAPT demonstrates that Pacnet is not content in its niche, expansion is the order of the day. And a presence down under would be a natural step in that process.
Yet I think such a deal is likely more rumor than fact, even it is based in reality it could just be a trial balloon. For one thing, it is unclear just where the money would come from. Are Pacnet's private equity owners chipping in more cash? Or are they offering an equity stake in advance of the IPO they are rumored to be planning when the market becomes more favorable? I suppose we won't know until this report progresses beyond the rumor stage. If it does happen, it would show that telecom consolidation is not unthinkable in this environment. But I'll believe it when I see it.
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