Magnet acquires Imagine’s retail broadband business in all-cash deal

5 Mar 2016

Magnet CEO Mark Kellett

Magnet Networks has acquired the retail broadband division of Sean Bolger’s Imagine in an all-cash transaction. While the value of the transaction has not been disclosed, the move will now leave Bolger free to focus on his new 4G LTE wireless business.

The new, enlarged Magnet Business division will have 11,000 SME and corporate customers.

Magnet will use the Imagine 4G network to provide wireless broadband services powered by LTE to existing and new business customers.

Future Human

Bolger said it was a strategic shift in priorities for Imagine that led to the sale of its retail broadband business to Magnet.

“With the industry shift to next-generation infrastructure driven by the need and demand for high-speed broadband and IP services, the strategic opportunity and focus of Imagine and its investors is to extend the reach and deliver fibre-based next-gen services to regional and rural communities across Ireland,” Bolger said.

Wireless, fibre and LTE focus for Magnet

“Key to delivering this strategy, and the full benefit to businesses and consumers, is our open wholesale partnership approach facilitating existing and new innovative service providers.”

In response to questions from, Magnet CEO Mark Kellett said that the deal will enable the company to compete on a nationwide basis.

“Magnet already has an extensive nationwide footprint serviced by a variety of technologies but nearly all have been fixed/wired such as FTTX, bonded VDSL, VDSL, SHDSL, ADSL2+ and ADSL and we are continuously evolving and growing this footprint.

“This transaction will allow us to offer these products to customers not only on our fixed-line infrastructure but also on wireless, fibre and LTE networks.”

Owned by Columbia Ventures Corporation, Magnet has invested €120m in developing an advanced telecoms network and includes businesses like Amazon, ESB, Adobe, Lidl, Fáilte Ireland and Centra as clients.

Acquisitions by Magnet in the past include wireless player Leap, ISP Netsource, VoIP provider Glantel and in 2012 it acquired a 90pc share of Velocity 1 as it expanded into the UK.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years