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Kirk and others support Pacific Fibre venture

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 24 NZPA - Trans-Pacific data cable company Pacific Fibre has raised more than $NZ1 million from a range of investors, including former Fairfax Media chief executive David Kirk, who is joining the board.

TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, The Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall and Xero founder Rod Drury unveiled the project earlier this year. Other founders include former Vodafone chief marketing officer Mark Rushworth, technology industry veteran John Humphrey and entrepreneur Lance Wiggs.

The company said today Mr Rushworth has been appointed fulltime chief executive.

Alongside further investment by Mr Morgan, Sir Stephen and Mr Drury, a new group of investors has also taken stakes, including Mr Kirk, Gareth Morgan, who is Sam Morgan's father, Seaworks chairman Bill Day and MYOB founder Craig Winkler.

The estimated cost of the project has fallen to $US500 million ($NZ700m) from an original $US900m figure.

Mr Rushworth said this round of capital raising had raised more than $NZ1m. The company would now focus on getting anchor customers which have indicated interest to commit to binding contracts. The company could then talk to investment banks about funding.

A capital raising was possible before Christmas.

"My priority as chief executive is meeting with potential customers," said Mr Rushworth. "Over the past three months I have met with Asian, Australasian and North American companies and we've been very encouraged by the response we've been getting."

Pacific Fibre will connect Australia, New Zealand and the United States with a fibre cable by 2013. The Pacific Fibre cable will be five times the total current capacity of the existing data cable to the United States operated by Southern Cross.

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