Commander buys RSL COM

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Commander Communications has paid $59.9 million for Australian telecommunications service provider RSL COM in a deal that will add 200 bodies to Commander's staff roster.

RSL COM is a provider of voice and data telecoms services for businesses and consumers, operates a switched network across Australia and has interconnect and reseller agreements with carriers such as Telstra and Optus.

Ian Tsicalas, MD of Commander Communications, said RSL COM's back office systems and business model was a clear strategic fit for the company.

He said there was very little cross-over between the customer bases of both companies. “RSL COM has approximately 45,000 business customers following its acquisition of the New Tel customer base, adding to Commander's existing business customer base of more than 100,000, he said. He added that the two businesses would dovetail together offering complementary products into shared market sectors and the opening of new markets.

Under the deal, Commander has acquired RSL COM's business units Business Communications, Australia Star Communications, 1410 Communications and Call Australia, New Tel Services, RSL COM Partners and Carrier Services.

RSL COM currently services the SME and SOHO markets through an Ericsson AXE and engine-based switching network platform operational in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The company has a strategic relationship with Ericsson to support and maintain its network operation. RSL COM's senior management have been retained under two year employment agreements. Tsicalas said no staff retrenchments are planned following the acquisition. Commander now has around 1100 staff following the acquisition.

Commander has also restructured its bank borrowings as a result of the acquisition. Its existing bank financing facility was previously due for renegotiation in July, however, Westpac has agreed to provide an aggregate three-year term facility of $79 million, the company said. No other acquisitions are planned in the near future.


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