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Austar United Communications Ltd - Background Report 2012

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Last updated: 22 Apr 2012 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 18

Analyst: Paul Budde

Synopsis

Austar United Communications (AUSTAR) was Australia’s second largest subscription TV operator after FOXTEL. The company offered digital television services to customers in regional and rural areas using satellite and also offers dial-up internet. All of the shares in the company were removed from the ASX in mid-April 2012 with the final takeover to be finalised around late May 2012. All services would continue to be provided by both companies.

While the formal approval from the ACCC may have taken some time and saw AUSTAR having to seek court approval so as to postpone its shareholder meeting that was due in late February until late March 2012 so as the shareholders could vote and then formally approve the takeover.

All other approvals including the US-Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruling that the parent company Liberty Global confirming conditional takeover approval and the Australian government approval for the overseas takeover was agreed by the federal government treasurer by end-2011.

The takeover comes after a time when many of AUSTAR’s assets had already been disposed. In 2011 all the mobile, fixed-wireless broadband and dial-up internet services ceased to be operated by the company as the mobile services were divested to M2. Also in 2011 the company sold its 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz wireless spectrum licenses to NBN Co. The dial-up service was also terminated.

AUSTAR was the sole provider of subscription television services in substantially all of its markets – in regional NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, and covers all areas in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. AUSTAR also operates a digital cable network in Darwin. Its service area comprises around one-third of the Australian market, primarily using digital satellite technology.

In this report we profile the company operations with analysis on current company issues as these were prior to the takeover in 2012. We also provide an overview of the company financials for the last financial and previous year in tabular and charts formats in an easy-to-read format. The report has been archived and will no longer be updated. For more information on FOXTEL, see separate reports at www.budde.com.au

Key developments:

Pay TV, spectrum, ARPU, revenue, subscription TV, takeovers, IPTV, HDTV, churn, subscription TV, company acquisition.

Companied covered in this report include:

FOXTEL, NBN Co, M2, Liberty Global, Unwired, OPEL, Southern Cross Telco, XYZnetworks

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