Firestone Energy announces new chief executive officer

The Board of Firestone Energy Limited (ASX/JSE: FSE) (the “Company”, “FSE” or “Firestone”) wishes to advise of the retirement of Mr David Knox from the position of CEO of the Company, effective immediately.

Mr Knox has been CEO of the Company since September 2011 and has overseen the recent reorganisation of the Company and the Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) on the Company’s main undertaking, its Joint Venture “interest” in The Waterberg Coal Project in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

The DFS for the project is expected for completion at the end of July 2013. It is anticipated that the DFS will confirm the economic viability for developing the significant Waterberg Coal Project. The Waterberg Coal Project Joint Venture has a Memorandum of Understanding with Eskom Holdings Limited (“Eskom”), the South African electricity generation and supply company to provide 10 mtpa of coal from the project. It is expected that the project will commence delivery of coal to Eskom in Q1, 2015.

The Board wishes to thank Mr Knox for his contributions over the period. During his tenure as CEO, the Company has made significant progress towards its objective of becoming a significant coal producer in The Waterberg coal district of South Africa. Mr Knox will continue in his capacity as a non-executive director of the Company.

The Board of FSE is also pleased to advise that Mr Stephen Miller has been appointed to the position of CEO.

Mr Miller has significant experience in the financing and development of large scale project developments of this nature; which experience will be drawn upon as the Waterberg Coal Project Joint Venture progresses towards the completion of the DFS, the project financing and expected project start up in Q4, 2013.

Crown Towers named ‘Best Large Luxury Hotel’ at 2013 Australian Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards

Crown Towers has once again been acknowledged for its outstanding accommodation offerings and luxurious service, winning the prestigious award of ‘Nespresso Best Large Luxury Hotel’ at the 2013 Australian Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards. Crown Towers also played host to the glamourous awards ceremony held last night, with the who’s-who of luxury travel gathered at Crown Towers’ beautiful Conservatory. The award win adds to a growing list of accolades, with Crown Towers taking out the title of ‘Australia’s Best Hotel’ earlier this month at the 2013 Asia Pacific Hotel Awards.

The Australian Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards are held annually to recognise the leaders in the travel and tourism industry. The luxury lifestyle magazine critiques the cream of the travel crop, selecting four nominees across 16 categories before opening voting up to readers. It is an honour that the magazine’s discerning readers selected Crown Towers as the country’s best in the competitive and respected awards.

Crown Hotels Group Executive General Manager, Peter Crinis accepted the awards for ‘Nespresso Best Large Luxury Hotel’, stating “It is an honour to receive this prestigious accolade from Australian Gourmet Traveller. We work hard to deliver truly memorable hotel and spa experiences to our guests and the fact that we are receiving this award at our own Crown Towers just adds to the excitement.”

Crown Towers’ award win of ‘Nespresso Best Large Luxury Hotel’ cements its reputation as Australia’s preeminent luxury, five star hotel. Complete with private villas and luxurious suites, Crown Towers features superior craftsmanship, contrasting textures and a refreshing and inviting colour palette with an art-deco
design throughout. The renowned Crystal Club exemplifies the Crown Towers experience with exceptional service, decadent food and beverage offerings and an extensive outdoor terrace where guests can take in the stunning views of Melbourne’s CBD. In late 2012, Crown Towers’ Crown Spa was unveiled following a $10 million refurbishment, complete with an Aqua Retreat, 17 lavish treatment rooms, two exclusive couples’ suites and a dedicated hair and beauty salon.

iiNet to acquire Adam Internet

iiNet Limited (ASX: IIN) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Adam Internet Holdings Pty Ltd (Adam Internet) and associated companies for $60 million cash consideration.

Based in Adelaide, Adam Internet has approximately 70,000 broadband subscribers located primarily in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Acquisition highlights:

  • Grows iiNet’s total customer base to over 900,000 broadband subscribers, adding 70,000 new broadband subscribers plus a range of key South Australian business and government clients consuming data-centre, hosting and cloud services
  • Addition of a growing, reputable brand to the iiNet stable, complementing existing brands in the Australian market
  • New data centre and additional DSLAM and fibre network infrastructure
  • Experienced management team with strong local relationships
  • Expected FY14 revenue of $55.0 million and EBITDA of $11.5 million, with synergies mainly expected from FY15 onwards
    – cost synergies available from bandwidth and backhaul as well as the integration of systems and suppliers
  • Opportunity to increase the bundled product offering to Adam Internet customers from iiNet’s existing product suite
  • Comfortable net debt profile and headroom within existing bank facility post-acquisition
  • Expected to be immediately EPS accretive from FY14 (pre-synergies)

Completion of the acquisition is subject to a number of standard procedural conditions which are expected to be met by 31 August 2013, and the ACCC has already cleared the transaction.

Greg Hicks, Executive Chairman and Founder of Adam Internet said that the transaction represents a great outcome for Adam Internet customers and staff.

“We believe that this transaction provides real benefit to Adam Internet’s customers and staff as it aligns them with iiNet, Australia’s leading ISP in customer service. Adam Internet has long provided customers with innovative products, high quality service and value for money, and this will be further strengthened under iiNet’s ownership,” added Mr Hicks.

iiNet’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Malone, said the acquisition reinforces the company’s position as Australia’s second largest DSL Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the leading challenger in the telecommunications market.

“Like iiNet, Adam Internet has a loyal customer base and strong reputation in its core markets. This acquisition further builds on our strategy to grow scale in the national residential and business broadband segments.

“Following completion of the acquisition, iiNet will have over 900,000 broadband customers accessing industry leading service levels and a growing suite of telecommunications products at the forefront of industry development,” added Mr Malone.

iiNet is advised by Azure Capital Limited with legal advice being provided by K&L Gates and Herbert Geer.

iiNet will be releasing its FY13 results on 21 August 2013.

iiNet TV with Fetch gets facelift

Australia’s leading IPTV service offers new plans, new channels and more reach

iiNet, the leading challenger in Australia’s telecommunications market, today announced the latest evolution of its popular television service.

The new iiNet TV with Fetch Entertainment Plus package includes Disney Channel, Disney Junior, ESPN and ESPN2  in addition to the extensive existing rich range of content.

Chief Product Officer Stephen Harley said iiNet was using its newly deployed HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) technology to bring the enhanced iiNet TV to more customers.

“We’re adding awesome new content to iiNet TV with Fetch and making sure it’s accessible to many more customers on our network,” he said.

“iiNet’s deployment of HLS extends coverage to customers on ADSL, ADSL2+, fibre, and for the first time, the NBN. Previously, the full iiNet TV with Fetch service, via IP Multicast, was available to about two thirds of our customers.”

“Our ever-improving choice of channels, including Disney and ESPN with the Entertainment Plus package, makes iiNet TV with Fetch an even more attractive in-home entertainment service for the 75 per cent of Australian households that have decided traditional Pay TV is not for them.”

From today, the new Entertainment Plus package replaces the Entertainment package for all new customers. Existing customers can choose to retain their current service or upgrade to the iiNet TV with Fetch Entertainment Plus package to gain access to the exciting new content.

The Entertainment Plus package costs $19.95 per month on top of the basic iiNet TV service, which costs just $10 per month and is included at no extra charge in the $99 TV Combo.

All changes announced today apply immediately for iiNet subsidiary, Westnet. Internode customers will gain access to the expanded content from August.

iiNet ready to roll as the NBN arrives in Perth

iiNet will today turn on its NBN services in South Perth and Victoria Park – the first established Perth suburbs to access the amazing speeds of fibre.

iiNet Chief Customer Officer Maryna Fewster said as a proud West Australian company, iiNet was excited that the NBN had finally arrived in Perth.

“From our early days as WA’s first Internet Service Provider, iiNet has focused on delivering the best, most reliable and cost effective access to the web,” she said.

“At iiNet, we know the NBN isn’t just about speed: It’s about preparing Australia’s people, business and the whole industry for the future by delivering consistent high-performance broadband Internet access for everybody.”

Several fortunate residents have already started to benefit from using the NBN at home. iiNet customer, and father-of-one, Shane McDermott was among the first residents in Perth to connect to the NBN.

As well as enjoying faster download speeds for the fun stuff like music, the 29-year-old finance manager has also found the speedy connection has completely transformed the way he works from home in Victoria Park, which makes spending time with his one-year-old son Rory so much easier.

“I could work from home before, but it used to take ages to do simple things like get documents off the work server, so I pretty much had to just work off my desktop. Now I can work off the company server with no problems, and it’s all just so much easier.”

This is the first major roll-out of NBN fibre in suburban Perth but, Ms Fewster said iiNet had been working alongside NBN Co for the last three years delivering high-speed fibre, fixed wireless and satellite services to our customers.

“We’ve hit our stride when it comes to connecting people to the NBN quickly and smoothly. Our record is 30 hours from phone call to connection – and we’re always striving to smash our personal best,” she said.

iiNet now has 15,000 customers on the NBN across Australia.