M1 buys Qala for $10m

Robert Clark
07 Sep 2009
Daily News

Singapore mobile operator M1 will buy local ISP Qala for at least S$14.9 million ($10.4 million).

The cellco said it would pay S$14.9 million for the enterprise-focused company on completion of the sale, and up to S$3 million if the company meets performance targets over the next two years.

The price was based on “the S$2.8 million net book value of Qala based on its audited accounts as at 30 June 2009, the customer database and business contracts of Qala, and the synergistic benefits of the acquisition,” M1 said in a statement.

It is M1’s first major deal under new CEO Karen Kooi, who was confirmed in the post four months ago.

The mobile specialist is being marginalized in the local market by full-service competitors SingTel and StarHub. It ranks third in mobile market share and posted a flat S$79 million net profit for the first half of 2009.

In an effort to broaden its offering it last year unsuccessfully bid for the government’s next-gen broadband tender and launched a consumer fixed-line broadband service.

Qala offers corporate data and data center services and sells consumer broadband services over its Wimax network.

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