Internet service provider (ISP) @lantic Internet has acquired Cape-based ISP Xsinet for an undisclosed sum, in so doing boosting its user numbers by a third, increasing its earnings and gaining a foothold in the Western Cape.
With the addition of Xsinet’s 15 000 customers, and ongoing organic growth, DataPro-owned @lantic has now reached the major milestone of 60 000 subscribers.
While organic growth through 195 franchises and resellers countrywide has been at the heart of its drive for market share, acquisitions will play an increasing part. @lantic recently finalised acquisitions of two Bloemfontein-based ISPs, MJVNet and SHISAS.
@lantic MD Neil Meyer says the company’s main motivation was to enter the Cape. He explains that @lantic’s traditional strength has been Gauteng consumers and SMEs. “The acquisition tallies with our ‘local service, national support’ ethos,” he says.
“Xsinet’s consumer focus is very much in line with our own customer base, which is 70% composed of consumers and 30% of small businesses,” adds @lantic channel director Jacques Visser.
David le Roux, outgoing MD of Xsinet, agrees that the businesses have a good fit. The transaction also gives new impetus to continuing consolidation in the competitive ISP market, as smaller players struggle to make ends meet. Le Roux says he doesn’t believe ISPs with fewer than 20 000 subscribers can compete on equal footing with the rest of the industry.
Although hardware was part of the deal, @lantic has for some time been ramping up its service platform to accommodate acquisitions, says Meyer.
Xsinet customers who indicate that they wish to continue with existing services will keep their Xsinet e-mail aliases and products. In cases where they are upgraded, their products and e-mail aliases will carry @lantic branding. The Xsinet company name will be discontinued.
Meyer notes that more announcements may follow in coming weeks. “We are aiming to double our customer base this year and we have the capacity to chase more acquisitions.”
Tony van Marken, executive chairman of DataPro Group, comments: “It is our stated intention to grow through organic and acquisitive growth, and during this year we have strengthened our balance sheet with a view to completing additional acquisitions.
“The @lantic management team has proved themselves within DataPro Group, and is able to acquire and integrate ISPs into the @lantic structure in a cost-effective and timely manner. Xsinet is the largest acquisition to date for @lantic, and will be accretive to earnings."