Big but not Clever: WiMAX firm rejects takeover bid

10 Oct 2008

According to itWire, the board of Australian WiMAX provider BigAir has unanimously rejected a takeover offer from rival wireless operator Clever Communications; the latter offered one Clever share for each BigAir share on 2 October 2008. According to BigAir, ‘The negligible share premium, no cash payment, and the volatile performance and illiquid trading of CVA shares represents highly uncertain value that may not be realisable by accepting BigAir shareholder.’ BigAir’s directors reportedly hold just under 37% of the total share between them, and have confirmed they will not sell.

Alongside its rejection, BigAir updated shareholders on its current state of affairs, noting that at 30 June 2008 the company held more than AUD1.65 million (USD1.14 million) in cash and had no debt. BigAir’s WiMAX network currently covers Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and the operator is understood to be in the final stages of assessing plans for launch in Perth and Adelaide.

Additionally, it has also been reported that both BigAir and Clever are considering purchasing the iBurst mobile broadband network from Commander Communications, which went into receivership in August 2008. Responding to the rumour Clever issued a statement claiming it would not bid for the network as it ‘believes the mobile broadband sector’s growth will be dominated by HSDPA and evolving technologies delivered over Australia’s tier one carrier 3G networks.’