California-based telecoms firm Craig Wireless Systems has agreed to buy New Zealand broadband provider Woosh Wireless for a total consideration of USD5.5 million, which includes the latter’s pre-existing debt. Under the terms of the deal, Craig Wireless subsidiary Craig Wireless South (CW South) will assume major Woosh investor Kuwait Finance House’s loan for some USD5 million, whilst Rod Inglis, the current chairman of Woosh, will participate in the acquisition by contributing USD500,000 of the total purchase price. Upon completion of the transaction, CW South will hold 51% of Woosh, whilst Inglis and his affiliates will retain the remaining 49% of the company’s equity. Going forward, it has been confirmed that Inglis will continue to be involved in the day-to-day management of the business. According to Scoop.co.nz, the deal will help Kuwait Finance House to recover some of its debt, which stood at around USD18.8 million as at 30 June, but will freeze out other shareholders, notably US venture capitalist Clarity Partners, original investor Todd Wireless and launch partner Vodafone New Zealand.
Craig Wireless currently holds frequency rights in the US and Greece, alongside additional spectrum interests in Norway and New Zealand; the Norwegian and Kiwi frequencies are only effective for the delivery of point-to-multipoint signals, and support emerging 4G services and applications. The Californian firm has recently embarked on something of a spending spree after cashing in its lucrative Canadian spectrum assets during the 2010 financial year, which left the company with a windfall of USD20.5 million to invest elsewhere.