Vocus NZ has entered an agreement to buy Stuff Fibre, which has 20,000 broadband customers, from media company Stuff.
The company has also sold its shareholding in energyclubnz to Future Energy Management Company, it emerged today.
Australia's Nine Entertainment is currently trying to find a buyer for Stuff, with NZ Herald publisher NZME and several others bidding.
NZME reportedly offered $1 for the business with Stuff and its owner responding that there would be no transaction.
Rumours are that Stuff could be facing closure if a buyer is not found.
Vocus New Zealand chief executive Mark Callander said the purchase fits with the company’s growth strategy, with Stuff customers joining Vocus’ almost 200,000 strong customer base.
“Stuff Fibre is a strong business, with great customer service satisfaction scores, and we are pleased to welcome them into the Vocus fold,” Callander said.
“This is a really positive move for us, we have always been clear that we want to be the telco provider for one in four Kiwi homes – whether that’s through a residential service, or through wholesaling services to another retailer – and this purchase helps bring us closer to that goal."
Stuff Fibre was founded in 2016 with partners and Stuff bought those partners out in 2018 to take full ownership.
“Stuff Fibre has some great products, such as in-home Wi-Fi troubleshooting, which we will introduce to our existing customers and we’ll work to bring Vocus products such as power and mobile services to the Stuff base," Callander said.
Buying a business during uncertain times showed that Vocus was confident that there are real opportunities to grow the business in the coming months and years, he added.
“We have grown our customer base by 10 per cent overnight, when these opportunities arise, you need to grab them, just as we have done with Woosh and Orcon purchases previously."
Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher said when Stuff Fibre was launched in 2016, the vision was to use the powerful scale, reach and trust of Stuff, Neighbourly and the group's newspapers to launch new businesses and supercharge their growth.
"This has proven a successful approach and we will continue to look for new opportunities to do the same in future," she said.
The Stuff Fibre staff to will transfer to Vocus. The deal completes May 20 and the sale price was not disclosed