Wharf T&T dials expansion

Business | Esther Yu 11 Nov 2016

Wharf T&T, sold last month for HK$9.5 billion to two private equity firms, yesterday said it now aims to expand at a faster pace.

The ICT and cloud service provider that caters mainly to enterprises said it is working to boost market share from the current 17 percent to 25 percent within five years.

"Our market share is growing every year," said Vincent Ma Wai-sin, who also said the firm is set to boost earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization by 50 percent.

Wharf T&T's EBITDA for this year stood above HK$830 million with the margin exceeding 40 percent.

Ma also said the company will add more staff at both the front and back offices, but specific operational plan for the coming year has yet to be decided with the two new shareholders, Ma said.

"We have a ready platform for expansion and we got fibre-to-the-desk in over 5,100 commercial towers covered," said Ma.

Focused only on the enterprise market, Ma said Wharf is able to provide products that are able to create business opportunities for clients, like broadband services bundling with securities solution. "Loyalty to our clients is therefore quite high," he said. When asked on the view of the highly competitive telecom market in Hong Kong with both presence of local firms like HKBN (1310) and the penetration of incoming Alicloud, Ma said the firm has both the network edge with its fibre broadband services and system based services.

"We have the most comprehensive portfolio," said Ma, who promptly said there is no need to launch a price war to boost the number of clients given a solid base of more than 53,000 enterprises it is currently serving.

The two private equities, MBK Partners and TPG that have bought Wharf T&T, completed the deal on Wednesday. Both have not ruled out an eventual exit through an initial public offering, which CVC Capital did in the case of HKBN.

TPG partner Ricky Lau Wai-ki, said the firm has not considered acquiring Wharf's paid TV business i-Cable as it has only targeted the telecom segment.

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