Alternative Networks Purchase Mobile Reseller ICB

Alternative Networks has acquired Integrated Communications for Business (UK) Ltd (ICB), a mobile and fixed line telecoms service provider for an initial consideration of £6 million and a deferred consideration depending on the future profitability of ICB of up to a further £5 million.

Alternative Networks also confirms that its profits for the year ended 30 September 2005 are expected to be in line with market expectations.

ICB was established in Reading in 1997 targeting SME business customers along the M4 corridor. The business operates as a mobile service provider for both Vodafone and O2 and also sells fixed line voice and data products. ICB reported gross profits of £4.5 million in the year to 30 April 2005 on revenues of £14.8 million. ICB pre tax profits in the same year were £0.5 million.

The acquisition of ICB will enhance Alternative Networks’ customer scale, turnover and profits. It follows Alternative Networks’ stated strategy, to consolidate opportunities in the business telecoms service provider sector with complementary businesses.

At 30 April 2005 ICB had 14,180 mobile subscribers and 518 fixed line customers. In the year to 30 April 2005 monthly ARPU for ICB mobile subscribers was £52, compared with £73 for Alternative Networks in the six months to 31 March 2005. In the same year, fixed line average monthly revenue per contract was £700 for ICB, compared with £1,153 for Alternative Networks in the six months to 31 March 2005. ICB employs 58 staff, of which 20 are responsible for direct sales, telesales and client management. Two of the founder directors, Mike Nash and Jeanetta Evans, will remain with the business following completion.

James Murray, Chief Executive Officer of Alternative Networks, said: “The combination of ICB’s sales force and the strong direct ARPUs of both its fixed and mobile customers, make this acquisition compelling, as well as being earnings enhancing in the first year. We have known ICB as a regional competitor for several years and believe the business will integrate well with Alternative Networks. We continue to seek further suitable acquisitions as we implement our balanced strategy of organic and acquisitive growth.”

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