Pssst, wanna buy an ISP?

Hamilton's largest ISP, Wave Internet, is on the market.

Hamilton’s largest ISP, Wave Internet, is on the market.

US-based owner, PavTech, is restructuring its international operation, but New Zealand marketing manager Wayne Attwell says it isn’t retrenching or exiting the local market; it’s simply decided it doesn’t need to own its own ISP.

“We’re adding staff to engineering and research and development all around the world."

He says it's unfortunate that Asia Online collapsed about the same time as Wave's announcement.

“It makes it look like the ISP industry as a whole is quite shaky, which would be wrong. Wave Internet is profitable and we’re looking to this move at the right time ... We’ve been talking with potential buyers for weeks now - this all started long before Asia Online’s problems came to light."

Attwell agrees that the technology sector is undergoing a period of difficulty, and that ISPs in particular are hard hit.

“Last year was probably the hardest year the industry’s faced, but that means this is a good time to buy into an ISP that is both profitable and well run. Wave has made a profit, albeit a smaller one that we’d like, despite the economic downturn.”

Attwell says PavTech, which bought Wave Internet just over a year ago, will retain the system engineering arm of the company, which focuses on factory automation processes.

“That’s a natural fit with their expectations in the region.”

Attwell says Wave has 7300 paying customers and runs with only seven full-time staff on the books and that PavTech would like to keep a “relationship” with the future buyer.

“Whether it’s a full buy out or a partnership in the future, we’d be keen to retain Wave as a partner because we do a lot of hosting of sites and need an ISP.”

Attwell believes the company should be sold now because with PavTech’s change of focus away from the ISP industry it won’t be investing the money in Wave Internet that it should be.

“It’s a good profitable little business and it needs to grow from here.”

He hopes a purchase will be finalised in the next couple of weeks.

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