Aqura acquired by Telstra after big year with miners

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Aqura Technologies has been sold to Telstra for $30 million, handing a raft of mining infrastructure to one of Australia’s leading telecommunications companies.

Aqura parent company Veris has had full ownership of the technology company for six years, but Veris chairman Karl Paganin believed the sale would allow Telstra to facilitate Aqura’s growth potential.

“Whilst Aqura has been growing strongly under Veris’ ownership, the board is of the view that the timing was right to sell the business to provide the Aqura team the opportunity to accelerate this growth further by accessing Telstra’s existing sales and customer channels,” Paganin said.

He added that future growth would present opportunities for additional product offerings on top of its current business in industrial wireless-enterprise communications.

Such services have been on show across the mining industry over the past year, as Aqura signed deals with BHP, Roy Hill and Fortescue Metals Group.

In November, Roy Hill asked Aqura to expand its current private 4G LTE network at its namesake iron ore operation – a network where Aqura was also responsible for its initial construction.

An October announcement saw Aqura agree with DXC Technology to provide an entertainment network across 17,000 rooms at an undisclosed Tier 1 mining village in the Pilbara region.

Multiple contracts were also signed with BHP in August worth a combined $5.1 million for communications infrastructure upgrades across its Western Australian Iron Ore (WAIO) accommodation precincts.

Not only will Telstra be acquiring a history of relationships with major mining companies, but a future in the development of 5G LTE networks for mining applications.

This was assured by the Federal Government’s Digital Business Plan 5G Innovative Initiative which handed a $1.9 million grant to Aqura in August.

The federal funding combined with more than $2 million invested by the company to design a commercially viable installation of a live private 5G network in a functioning Western Australian mine.

Aqura will fall under Telstra subsidiary Telstra Purple – a business arm focussed on digital transformation services – which also acquired Alliance Automation – a leading providers of industrial automation solutions and control systems.

Telstra Purple senior executive Christopher Smith said Aqura showed plenty of opportunity for growth under the Telstra flag.

“Both companies have demonstrated consistent historical growth, close customer and vendor relationships, backed up by a deep pool of specialist talent with a strong pipeline and growth outlook,” Smith said.

“We were impressed by their people, expertise and capabilities and believe they will be very valuable additions to the Telstra Purple team.”

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