Auction bidder changes hands

Spectrum auction dark horse Northelia has not sold its spectrum as reported.

Spectrum auction dark horse Northelia has not sold its spectrum as reported.

Instead, the company itself has changed hands, according to previous owner Stuart Beadle.

Beadle, the local franchisee of a commercial cleaning firm, bought the second-generation spectrum at the government's recent 2GHz auction. Northelia paid about $10 million for its pair of 2G slots.

Papers filed with the Companies Office state that on March 16 a new director was appointed, Simon Edwards, of London, and Beadle stepped aside as director.

"I really can't comment beyond that I'm afraid," says Beadle, who has maintained his silence both during the auction and in the days following.

Kevin Kelly, a spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Development, says there is no problem from the government's point of view, with the change of ownership.

"Certainly if there were maximum limits placed on the amount of spectrum any one company could own, and the new owners breached that limit, that would be a question for the Commerce Commission to investigate, but that's not the case here."

Kelly would not be drawn on who the new owners of Northelia are or their plans. Beadle also refused to comment on the identity of the new owners, their plans or the amount paid for the company.

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