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A comprehensive round-up of the latest business news covering all sectors within the Isle of Man’s diverse and dynamic business environment. MANX TELECOM TO BE ACQUIRED BY INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT COMPANY Manx Telecom has received an offer from Basalt Infrastructure Partners II GP Limited to acquire the business, and will recommend the deal to shareholders. B asalt is a committed, long-term infrastructure investment firm with a strong track record of investing in strategic mid-market infrastructure assets, with a focus on energy, transport and utilities. The company has offi ces in London and New York. on-Island telecoms business, while investing for growth in its international business, Vannin Ventures.Those are the headlines from the company’s annual results for the year ended December 31, 2018, which have been announced. The acquisition, which values Manx Telecom at 215p per share, is expected to complete in early May. Manx Telecom CEO, Gary Lamb, commented: “2018 was another year of robust performance for Manx Telecom. Thanks to the hard work of our people, our on-Island telecoms business has remained stable – with a solid performance in fixed line, broadband and data services, and growth in mobile – while our international growth business, Vannin Ventures, has seen growth in Global Solutions and has put down strong foundations for the future. Goshawk Communications has made good progress, not least with our recently branded UK proposition, called ‘Audacious’ which uses the same innovative technology behind our MT clearSound product. We remain positive in the outlook for the Group due to the solid underlying revenue, EBITDA and cash flow performance during the year, and are continuing to explore potential growth opportunities with the aim of identifying new products and services for a global audience.” Manx Telecom’s strategy in recent years has seen significant investment in the Isle of Man’s telecoms infrastructure, including investment in several generations of broadband technology, the latest being the ongoing roll-out of Fibre-to- the-Premises (FTTP) which is already available to over 10% of premises on the Island. In addition, Manx Telecom has increased its potential to invest in exciting technology-based growth opportunities, such as the development of the hearing enhancement service provided on the Island as MT clearSound. Basalt is attracted to Manx Telecom’s key strengths, namely a stable business, a proven financial and operational track record led by a strong management team, and the opportunity to continue investment in the new network buildout and new business strategies. Basalt intends to work with the Manx Telecom management team to invest in new technology to deliver improved customer service and effi ciencies to the business. It recognises the skills, technical ability, industry knowledge and experience of Manx Telecom’s management and employees, envisages supporting the existing management team under the acquisition, and believes that the acquisition will provide enhanced growth and development opportunities for Manx Telecom employees. The announcement today marks the beginning of a process which is expected to complete in two to three months. Kevin Walsh, Chairman of Manx Telecom, said: “Since its IPO in 2014, Manx has performed well and delivered consistent returns for its shareholders through resilient earnings, strong 6 | Manx Telecom CEO, Gary Lamb cash generation and a growing dividend. Basalt’s cash offer recognises the quality of the business, the management team and the employees and provides certainty to shareholders. After careful consideration and negotiation the Board concluded that it would unanimously recommend the offer as being in the best interests of shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.” Commenting on the acquisition, Steven Lowry, Partner of Basalt Infrastructure Partners LLP, said: “We are pleased to announce Basalt’s board recommended offer for Manx, which provides cash certainty to shareholders. We are keen to support the company through its next phase of capital investment, which includes funding fibre to the premises, its commitment to Vannin Ventures and the future requirement of a 5G network roll out. We look forward to working closely with Manx’s management team and employees realise their vision to continue to provide high quality services to customers and position the company for the future.” Meanwhile Manx Telecom made good progress last year with its strategy of strengthening its Manx Telecom Chairman, Kevin Walsh, said the company had presented a ‘solid set of full year results for 2018’ which demonstrated a ‘stable trading performance’. He added that the company’s strategic focus would continue to be on defending its core market position here on the Island by delivering high-quality customer service, while also seeking off-Island growth, through Vannin Ventures, by identifying and developing innovative new products and services. In addition to the launch of MT clearSound (which was a world first in the field of mobile technology) another 2018 operational highlight was progress with the ongoing roll-out of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) with over 10% of the Island’s premises passed by the end of last year. There has been a 13.5% take up of the service to date.