OpenNet sale to Singtel business trust approved by IDA

OpenNet sale to Singtel business trust approved by IDA

Under the planned sale of Singapore's fibre broadband network announced on August 22, OpenNet's owners - SingTel, SP Telecommunications, Singapore Press Holdings and Canada's Axia NetMedia - would sell it for $126 million to NetLink Trust.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the press release from IDA:

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has approved the proposed CityNet's acquisition of OpenNet with conditions. OpenNet is the designated NetCo or Network Company operating under the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) initiative, which is responsible for the design, build and operation of the passive infrastructure layer of the Next Gen NBN.

OpenNet, CityNet, NetLink Trust and SingTel (the "Applicants") submitted a Consolidation Application on 22 August 2013. CityNet, as Trustee-Manager (TM) of the NetLink Trust, will acquire 100 per cent of the issued and paid-up capital in OpenNet. This acquisition will take place in two phases.

In Phase 1, upon completion of the acquisition of the shares in OpenNet, CityNet will hold 100 per cent of the issued and paid-up capital of OpenNet. Within twelve (12) months of the commencement of Phase 1, the assets and business of OpenNet will be transferred and integrated into the NetLink Trust. At the same time, SingTel will relinquish its role as the Key Sub-Contractor (KSC) of OpenNet and transfer its relevant personnel, skills and expertise into the NetLink Trust, thereby enhancing the Post-Consolidation Entity's operational capabilities. CityNet as the neutral, independent TM of the NetLink Trust will be the Post-Consolidation Entity.

In Phase 2, CityNet, as the Post-Consolidation Entity, will roll out the infrastructure, maintain the systems and provide the services previously undertaken by OpenNet on top of its suite of services. The Applicants proposed to enhance the independence of the Post-Consolidation Entity with an undertaking for SingTel to divest more than 75 per cent of its unitholdings in the NetLink Trust by April 2018.

In assessing the proposed Consolidation, IDA seeks to ensure that it will not significantly change the Next Gen NBN market environment, result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market or harm the public interest. IDA also wants to ensure that key regulatory requirements specific to the Next Gen NBN will continue to be upheld. These include Effective Open Access, No Effective Control, regulation on wholesale prices via Interconnection Offers, OpenNet's Universal Service Obligation and Quality of Service standards.

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