Arqiva snaps up UK public WiFi hotspot operator Spectrum for £23m

Arqiva snaps up UK public WiFi hotspot operator Spectrum for £23m

Arqiva, the communications infrastructure and media services company with customers such as the BBC, ITV, BSkyB and the UK’s five major mobile network operators, has snapped up WiFi hotspot provider Spectrum Interactive (‘Spectrum’) for £23.4 million (US$36.7 million).

The last time we reported on Spectrum was when it had partnered with Nokia to launch 26 free WiFi hotspots in London late last year. And now Arqiva has acquired Spectrum and its “sizeable WiFi portfolio”, this will enable it to accelerate the growth of its wholesale mobile data business.

Whilst the go-ahead is still required from shareholders, it’s expected that Spectrum Interactive Directors will “unanimously recommend” that shareholders accept the Offer.

“Spectrum Interactive is a solid business built by our investors, executives and employees, and as an independent player we have created a truly relevant market proposition,” says Simon Alberga, Executive Chairman, Spectrum Interactive. “Our customers and business will continue to be well served by this acquisition, and Arqiva’s acquisition of Spectrum Interactive will ensure that our organisation will continue to lead and flourish in what is a highly innovative and competitive market. The Board believes this is an attractive offer for Spectrum Interactive shareholders and the transaction is in the best interest of all stakeholders in Spectrum Interactive. Accordingly, the Board unanimously recommends to shareholders the acquisition of Spectrum Interactive by Arqiva.”

Smartphones, tablets and other portable connected devices are becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the UK, with London Underground stations recently rolling out WiFi in some stations, so this is clearly a good strategic move by Arqiva. The deal will see it acquire 15,500 access points in over 2,100 WiFi locations around the country.

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