The $1.3 billion Australian telco merger between Vocus and Amcom, which competitor TPG Telecom tried to block in a share register raid, is complete.
The next step is to get the two business working together. The cultural differences between the two are pronounced, according to insiders, but nothing Vocus hasn’t handled in previous acquisitions.
Perth-based Amcom is said to be more formal with suits worn in the office while Vocus, headquartered in Sydney, has more of a startup vibe and everyone dresses more casually.
James Spenceley, the founder of Vocus and the CEO of the combined group, has acquired a lot of businesses but Amcom is the biggest.
“I’ve never been a fan of suits which is why one of my first internal announcements was to give everyone at Amcom the freedom to wear what they want to work,” he told Business Insider.
“Having said that, what you wear to work is just one part of culture. For me culture is about empowering everybody to make a difference so we can build a business that challenges the status quo and have a lot of fun along the way.”
Spenceley, a BRW young rich lister, says bringing everything together will take a bit of time.
“We’ve got some early wins planned,” he says. “The fact both businesses are fundamentally similar in terms of products and infrastructure will make matters easier as we come together in the months ahead.”
The merger, done through a share swap, implies an equity value for Amcom of $700 million, with the combined group worth about $1.3 billion.
TPG tried the block the deal by grabbing a 19.9% stake in Amcom. However, in the end 99% of eligible shareholders voted for the Vocus merger.
TPG is fighting its own battle in a $1.56 billion takeover bid for iiNet, a move which would create a telco with 1.7 million customers and revenue of $2.3 billion. Currently the consumer watchdog, the ACCC, is investigating whether the deal would be anti competitive. It’s due to report in August. iiNet shareholders are due to vote on the TPG deal on July 27.
The merged Vocus, with 3,000 clients, 600 staff and 20 offices, now gives Spenceley a platform to attack the two big telcos, Telstra and Optus, in the corporate communications market.
“We’re here to challenge the market status quo and provide Australian businesses with a telco provider that is willing to do things differently and push the limits,” says Spenceley. “We’re here to offer choice.”
Vocus now has more than 11,000 km of fibre cable, enabling it to connect to almost every Australian CBD building to its network. Vocus also owns 22 data centres.