US-based Connect Holdings, which recently secured a 75% stake in internet services provider Pacific Internet (PacNet), says it is keen to raise its holding to above 90% as it looks to exploit a key gateway into the Indian and southeast Asian markets. Once it reaches its target, Connect plans to work with PacNet’s existing management to take advantage of and develop the latter’s strength in the SME segment through an aggressive regional expansion. ‘You will see that we’re going to aggressively look at raising capital in the future. It sometimes makes sense to look at ways to privatise it, rather than bring it into a conglomerate. There are many challenges and it’s very difficult to do it as a public company,’ said Bill Barney, Director of Connect Holdings and CEO of Asia Netcom. The US company’s acquisition of PacNet comes a little under a year after it snapped up Hong Kong-based Asia Netcom, one of the largest independent telecoms infrastructure operators in the region. Connect, owned by private equity firms Ashmore Group, Spinnaker Capital Group and Clearwater Capital, uses Netcom to provide much of its backhaul in Singapore and also owns two submarine cable links between Singapore and major north Asian cities.