Feeds

Nextgen on the block as Leighton seeks cash

Metronode and Infoplex also up for sale

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Some prime pieces of Australian IT&T real estate are on the block, with construction company Leighton Holdings announcing that it intends to sell network subsidiary Nextgen Networks.

The company’s decision will also put its Metronode data centre business and Infoplex IT arm, while Leighton’s will retain its network construction investments (Visionstream, its 50 percent holding in Silcar, and John Holland Communications).

The sales would be dependent on Macquarie Captial, appointed to manage the sale process, getting a good price for the businesses.

The “jewel in the crown”, Nextgen Networks, was founded in the telecommunications boom of the early 2000s, but initially struggled in the face of the dotcom crash and fierce competition from Telstra. Its survival under Leighton eventually made it a major player in the Australian long-haul network market. Nextgen is one of only three backhaul carriers linking Western Australia to the east coast (the other two are Telstra and Optus).

Nextgen also holds the contract to build and operate the Federal government’s 6,000-km Regional Backhaul Blackspots Program (RBBP) network, which brings competitive backhaul to remote towns in all mainland states. The company is also one of a handful of telcos offering NBN aggregation services to retail service providers too small to deal with NBN Co directly.

The RBBP network includes a link to Geraldton in Western Australia, partly deployed on the back of Australia’s bid for the Square Kilometer Array telescope project.

Metronode has been on an aggressive rollout in the data centre market, and currently has facilities in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, while Infoplex offers cloud computing services.

According to Australian telecommunications newsletter Communications Day, the sale puts in doubt Leighton’s plans to build a new submarine cable between Australia and Singapore. Before the sale was announced, Nextgen would have been a natural foundation customer for the project.

The sale could feasibly turn into a bidding war – something that would delight Leighton Holdings. Communications Day names second-tier carriers iiNet and TPG as possible buyers, while the Sydney Morning Herald reports that even Telstra hasn’t ruled itself out of the bidding process.

The sale could net as much as $1 billion for Leighton. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?