Tuesday, 19 March 2019 05:28

Vocus denies speculation on fresh equity raising

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Vocus denies speculation on fresh equity raising Pixabay

The Vocus Group has denied media speculation that it would be organising a fresh round of equity raising, saying it refinanced its debt facility in June last year.

The company said in a statement to the ASX on Monday that it had said during the presentation of results on 27 February that its net debt had peaked during the first half of fiscal year 2019 after funding the Australia Singapore Cable.

However, iTWire understands that Vocus is in negotiations to sell its Steel River data centre in Newcastle to communications provider CountryTell. The data centre was part of the Ipera acquisition in 2012.

In June 2018, Vocus said it had opened a new line of debt to the tune of A$1.27 billion and NZ$150 million, with the same interest cover and gearing ratios but with a new net leverage ratio to provide what it calls "financial headroom and flexibility".

It said the maximum NLR would be 3.75x at 30 June and 31 December 2018; 3.50x at 30 June and 31 December 2019; 3.25x at 30 June 2020; and 3.00x at December 2020 and thereafter.

During the February announcement, managing director and chief executive Kevin Russell outlined the progress made on the three-year strategic plan to turn the business around.

“Having closed out my first six-month period at Vocus, I have great confidence in the strategic growth opportunity for our company, with the core of that opportunity being in our Australian infrastructure business, Vocus Networks," he said at the time.

"This is a three-year turnaround and our board and leadership team is very clear on the way forward. The turnaround program is well underway, and momentum and change has clearly been established."

In Monday's statement, Vocus said: "The board and management remain comfortable with Vocus’ debt position. There is no current intention to raise additional equity."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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