AAPT fully acquires

After three years as a key investor in Internet company, AAPT announced yesterday it has bought the remaining 59.9 per cent equity from National Australia Investment Capital Limited (NAICL) and Sirius Technologies.

According to AAPT CEO Larry Williams, it has always been AAPT's intention to help grow Connect and then fully acquire it.

According to Stephen Picton, group director for strategic development for AAPT, the acquisition provides AAPT with the "ability to move away from the tag of being purely a long distance carrier". AAPT will use Connect to grow its Internet services, he said.

According to Connect managing director, John Stuckey, AAPT's infrastructure as well as market positioning will enable Connect to expand its coverage into new areas, including the international market.

The new arrangement will provide Connect with "access to better international rates", Stuckey said.

According to officials, Connect will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AAPT and will continue to be branded as

Williams said, however, the company is currently reviewing its whole strategy of name branding, with the idea of dropping the AAPT name under consideration.