The New Zealand internet service provider (ISP) CallPlus has been named as a prospective purchaser of rival firm Orcon, the NZ Herald writes. CallPlus currently sits in third place in the country’s broadband internet market, with around 8% of all subscribers, while Orcon is just behind with 5%. The combined operation would still lie well behind second-placed ISP Vodafone, however, which claims 32% of all users according to a Commerce Commission report. Neither CallPlus nor Orcon have commented on the rumours. Reports last week that pay-TV operator Sky New Zealand was interested in acquiring Orcon turned out to be wide of the mark, with Sky affirming that it has no plans to enter the broadband sector.
In June 2007 Orcon was acquired by state-owned wireless and broadcast solutions provider Kordia for NZD24.3 million (USD19.4 million). The ownership changed in April 2013 when Kordia sold Orcon to a group of private investors led by Vivid Networks director Warren Hurst for an undisclosed price, thought to be around NZD30 million. Under the new ownership structure, Hurst became a director and holds 48% of the company, while the remaining 52% stake is held by a legal nominee company. In March this year CommsUpdate reported that Orcon was up for sale once again and that five firms were interested in a deal, including CallPlus and retail group Warehouse.