12 Mar 2013
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~$80-mil Orcon deal? No comment, says key man

By Donovan Jackson

In a minnow eats whale moment, it looks like a previously low-profile ISP has popped out of nowhere to likely to snap up Orcon. What's more, Techday’s sources tell us the company is to change hands for a price tag said to be in the region of $80-$90-million.

Among the key questions which immediately occurred to us were, ‘where did a small ISP come up with that kind of cash’ (which is a serious premium), and ‘who’s behind this deal’. But the individual who is arguably the key man behind the rumoured transaction is remaining tight-lipped for now.

Meet Warren Hurst, MD of Vivid Solutions, a video comms company which evidently also has a small ISP dubbed Vivid Networks. Techday managed to get Hurst on the line, who when asked 'are you the man behind the Orcon buyout', very politely replied that he isn’t in a position to discuss anything.

When pressed, with a rather sneaky, ‘perhaps we will speak again in the coming weeks?’, Hurst wouldn’t be drawn, instead sticking to his guns. “I can’t discuss that.”

The facts as we know them are as follows: A company called Orcon Holdings Limited was registered on 20 February 2013 with Hurst as the sole director, with Semple Investments as the sole shareholder.

Semple Investments, incorporated in 2001, has Hurst and Steven Douglas Haywood listed as its directors. The rumour mill has indicated that Revera may be involved in some way; indeed, the shareholding of Semple Investments is split between Hurst and Tony Reimann, the LinkedIn profile of whom indicates he is General Manager Commercial Operations at Revera.

Vivid Networks apparently does not have a dedicated website of its own; it was registered in March 2010 and has Hurst and Michael Boersen listed as directors.

With this change of hands looking likely, Orcon has become something of a foothandball since making Seeby Woodhouse one of the country’s most eligible bachelors when Kordia bought it back in 2007. Woodhouse is, of course, back in the game (not the dating one, mind), now operating another ISP, Voyager.

It doesn’t seem so long ago that Kordia was integrating Orcon into its business, mainly because it wasn’t. Back in October 2012, the companies were busy merging.

As for that rumoured price tag of some $80 to $90-million: Stuff carries a story which says Kordia was seeking some $40-million. Broken telephones have a habit of multiplying numbers and distorting other facts, but at this point, innuendo is as thick in the air as information is thin on the ground.

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