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Kordia assessing outside investor, partner options in Australia

SOE rides Aussie mining, mobile network boom. PLUS: Kordia boss speaks to Orcon rumour.

Chris Keall
Tue, 07 Aug 2012

State-owned Kordia is looking at a range of options to support its fast-growing Australian business, including an outside investor or partner, CEO Geoff Hunt told NBR ONLINE today.

Asked if Kordia would sell its retail ISP business, Mr Hunt would only say: “We are looking at all options.”

Kordia is also looking to re-animate its plan for a transtasman submarine cable.

“It’s really early days. We haven’t made any decision. But it’s something we could do now that Pacific Fibre has folded the tent," he says.

If it does push ahead with its transtasman cable plan, it will be with a partner.

The Kordia boss sought to play down media speculation yesterday.

The Crown company was going through its usual planning process. A strategic plan would be finalised in January or February, then would be submitted for board approval.

Aussie booms to 50% of revenue
Mr Hunt said Kordia Solutions Australia grew 58% last year and accounted for about $200 million or roughly half of the SOE’s total revenue.

Communications services for Australian mining projects had emerged as a major source of revenue.

So had design and engineering services for Australian mobile network operators Telstra, Optus and Vodafone as they expanded capacity to cope with the data demands of the smartphone and tablet boom.

Kordia was also doing a degree of consulting work for Australia’s National Broadband Network.

“One question we have is How do we fund all the growth possibilities?” Mr Hunt said.

He would not comment on the size of the stake an outside investor could take in Kordia, reiterating that it was early stages and that a number of possibilities were on the table.

Yesterday, the AFR reported Kordia had sent investment banks to requests for proposals to manage its sale. SOE Minister Tony Ryall’s office told NBR the paper had “got the wrong end of the stick”.

Kordia has been looking to diversify to compensate for the loss of its once-core analogue TV transmission business.

Mr Hunt said analogue TV transmission now accounted for only around 4% of Kordia’s revenue.

Chris Keall
Tue, 07 Aug 2012
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Kordia assessing outside investor, partner options in Australia