Businessmen group may buy Orcon

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 13/04/2013

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Former Vodafone and Telecom executive Greg McAlister has confirmed speculation that he is one of a group of businessmen considering buying Orcon and returning it to private ownership.

McAlister, who was general manager of product marketing at Vodafone between 2011 and March this year, and before that chief financial officer of Telecom's $2 billion retail division, said no deal had been done.

State-owned enterprise Kordia announced last month that it had been in talks regarding the sale of Orcon for months, but spokeswoman Emma Morrison said last week that a date for a conclusion to the negotiations had slipped twice.

Kordia originally bought Orcon for $24.3m in 2007 and sources said it attempted to sell the internet provider to a raft of competitors for $40 million to $60m last year, but was knocked back.

McAlister said he had been talking with some people who were looking at buying Orcon and was a potential investor himself, but there was "nothing to talk about at this stage".

He would not discuss the likelihood of the takeover proceeding or whether price was still a factor.

"It is one of those things where it will either happen soon or it won't. It is Kordia's asset to say what they are doing with it."

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- BusinessDay

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