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Clear Purchases Net Tel's Prepaid Card Business

24 October 2001

CLEAR PURCHASES NET TEL's PREPAID CARD BUSINESS

CLEAR Communications today announced it had purchased the prepaid card business of Net Tel Communications. The price was undisclosed.

CLEAR CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos says, "Net Tel is a sound business with high market penetration and room for further growth. This acquisition enables CLEAR to access new customers and revenue by increasing market share in the profitable prepaid card market."

The acquired business will continue to operate under the Net Tel brand and CLEAR will support Net Tel's sales and marketing initiatives.

"We're looking forward to exploring other opportunities with Net Tel as they develop innovative new smart card services in the future," said Mr. Kaliaropoulos.

Net Tel was established in 1997 and quickly grew to become New Zealand's largest prepaid card provider with brands including Talk Talk, ePhone and Pacific Talk.

Net Tel Managing Director, Nathan Lawrence, said "Net Tel is pleased with the significant year on year growth that's been achieved since the company's inception. This transaction meets the goals of Net Tel's strategic plan and is clearly beneficial to both companies."

The cards are distributed through several thousand nationwide retail outlets. Net Tel prepaid phone cards allow customers to make calls to anywhere in the world at flat competitive rates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The new business complements CLEAR's existing TalkPlus business and will be managed by CLEAR's Mass Markets business group.

Mr Kaliaropoulos says Net Tel's sales and marketing team will continue to operate independently although Net Tel's back office functions will be integrated into CLEAR to benefit from the company's lower cost structure and operational efficiencies.

CLEAR will secure the knowledge and participation of Net Tel's executive team. The company will also support Net Tel's sales and marketing team as they pursue new growth opportunities. Net Tel's staff, processes, networks and physical resources will move from their current premises in Newmarket, Auckland to CLEAR's head office in Takapuna, Auckland.

Mr. Kaliaropolous says, "Enhancing our productivity, business efficiencies and investing in new market sectors is part of our growth strategy as we continue achieving the dramatic turnaround in performance we've delivered over the last 18 months."

Last financial year, CLEAR's annual operating revenues for FY01 grew by 14% year on year and net profit after tax, after adjustment for extraordinary items, was NZ$11.5 million. The company is on track for 20% revenue growth and net profit after tax of between NZ$27 million and NZ$30 million for the year ended 31 March 2002.

ENDS For further information contact Steve Jackson General Manager - Mass Markets Tel: (09) 912 4550 CLEAR


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