NZ Salmon leaps into telecoms

New Zealand Salmon has leapt into the telecommunications market with the purchase of NewCall Communications. The new NewCall Group will pursue Internet service, cellular and e-commerce business.

New Zealand Salmon has leapt into the telecommunications market with the purchase of NewCall Communications. The new NewCall Group will become the second listed New Zealand telco.

In what is effectively a reverse takeover, New Zealand Salmon will acquire all shares in NewCall for $9.1 million. This will be satisfied by the issue of shares in New Zealand Salmon to NewCall shareholders who will then hold the majority of shares in New Zealand Salmon, which will be renamed 'NewCall Group Limited'.

New Zealand Salmon shareholders also yesterday approved a non renouncable one for one rights issue, not greater than 30 cents a share, to raise additional capital of about $4 million to fund ongoing expansion in New Zealand and offshore.

New Zealand Salmon Chairman, Ian Farrant, told the shareholders meeting that NewCall offered shareholders the opportunity to enter an "exciting and diverse industrial segment of the market.

"This encompasses not only telecommunications in all its forms of tolls, cellular, facsimile, cards and other telephone products, but also the yet undeveloped opportunities of e-mail, e-commerce and many other related products arising from widespread use of the Internet."

Farrant also praised the skills and experience of NewCall's existing management.

NewCall managing director Norman Nicholls said the listing of NewCall was timely as the number of opportunities available for the company were "almost overwhelming.

"This is an especially interesting time because there are so many new developments and innovations, particularly as telecommunications increasingly converges with the IT and media industries,' he said.

Nicholls said that while toll services would remain its core business, the company would be diversifying, both in New Zealand and internationally, with Internet services, cellular, e-commerce, and other utility support, as required by its primary target customer base of small to medium businesses.

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