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AAPT has a head for mergers

AAPT has a head for mergers

AAPT's most senior IT executive has been made head of the company's acquisitions operation.

A spokesman confirmed that AAPT general manager of technology and operations Bob Hennessy had been appointed to the newly created role of general manager of mergers and acquisitions, but declined to reveal more details. "We won't comment any further than that," the spokesman said.

Mr Hennessy would not say whether his existing responsibilities for technology would carry over into the new position, or whether a new person would be appointed to the technology and operations role.

Mr Hennessy joined AAPT as chief information officer in 2003. The local arm of Telecom New Zealand, AAPT has been an active player in consolidation in the telecommunications market, completing a A$357 million acquisition of PowerTel in May.

The acquisition has helped revive Telecom's fortunes in Australia. AAPT said last week that it could double pretax profit to roughly $200 million within two years.

While delivering results, the acquisition of PowerTel by AAPT has not been all plain sailing. In April, The Australian Financial Review reported that a clash of cultures was slowing the integration of the two companies; PowerTel's hard-edged focus on numbers was at odds with AAPT's more consensus-based approach.

Last month, AAPT was also reported as one of several industry players to flag interest in buying troubled IT and telecommunications services group Commander, a group once courted by PowerTel.

AAPT executives confirmed during results briefings last week the company had been examining Commander's assets, but declined to detail the extent of AAPT's interest.

But analysts have said AAPT would be unlikely to bid for the entire commander operation, saying the integration challenges would be too large.

© Fairfax Business Media

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