Mako nibbles NetComm

By Helen Twose

Internet security and monitoring firm Mako Networks has taken a stake in ASX-listed NetComm to open up opportunities in the Australian market.

The deal, signed just before Christmas, saw Mako pay $3.5 million for a 13 per cent stake in internet hardware supplier NetComm, with the option to increase the holding to 20 per cent.

Mako chief executive Bill Farmer said the company had been looking for quite some time at opportunities to team up with an Australian company in order to create a greater foothold in the market.

"They're particularly good because they've had 20 years' experience in the marketplace.

"They have an exceptional network of clients throughout the country and they're very, very well respected for what they do with very competent management," said Farmer.

He said a shareholding in NetComm was attractive because he saw the company as undervalued and growth in Australia could translate into a rise in the value of its shareholding.

Mako's web-based system, aimed at small and medium businesses, allows customers to monitor internet usage, potentially reducing "cyber-slacking", protect against computer viruses and hackers and create a network linking staff working in different locations.

The company has a deal with Telecom to resell the product under the SecureME name.

Mako has already established offices in the United Kingdom and a franchise arrangement in South Africa, but had been running its Australian operation from New Zealand.

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