Gen-i in dark on TelstraClear ‘buyout’

A rumour that a Telstra-backed TelstraClear is about to take over systems integrator Gen-i sounds logical, admits gen-i chief Garth Biggs. "But that doesn't mean it's happening," he adds.

A rumour that a Telstra-backed TelstraClear is about to take over systems integrator Gen-i sounds logical, admits gen-i chief Garth Biggs. “But that doesn’t mean it’s happening,” he adds.

“It is no secret that we have been for sale for a long time, at the right price,” Biggs said last week. “I can say that as at today, no one has fronted up with the right price. That’s not to say that situation might not change tomorrow, but as at today I have no specific information that it will.”

The move makes sense both to Gen-i’s ultimate owner, Eric Watson, who has been trying to cash up New Zealand interests to relocate his businesses predominantly in the UK, and to TelstraClear, which might benefit from taking on a computing services organisation to compete directly with Telecom Advanced Solutions.

Telstra in Australia certainly seems to see such an acquisition as appropriate: it is in negotiation to buy technology services company Kaz Group for $A400m.

Efforts to reach TelstraClear chief Rosemary Howard directly were unsuccessful. Spokesman Mathew Bolland says as a matter of policy the company does not comment on prospective takeover bids until they are made.

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