2degrees founder, Tex Edwards, and associated company KLR Investments have sold all their interests in 2degrees to existing shareholder Trilogy International New Zealand and to the company.
In a statement, 2degrees said: “Mr Edwards founded the company in early 2001, providing the initial capital himself.
"He built a cohesive team, introduced investors, acquired radio spectrum and worked in the business for over a decade, setting it up to roll out a nationwide network to challenge the duopoly of Telecom and Vodafone and it now holds a 23 percent share of mobile connections.
"Tex’s vision, canny analysis and dogged persistence were instrumental in the company becoming a full service competitor in the New Zealand telecommunications market with 1000 staff, 95 percent population coverage and more than one million customers,” said the company’s chairman, Brad Horwitz.
“In a challenging environment, Tex successfully battled to get 2degrees access to critical radio spectrum, fair wholesale mobile termination rates, and other key regulatory settings that paved the way for 2degrees to build a flourishing business.”
However, as KLR noted in a submission to a government inquiry in 2013, “Tex Edwards an employee of KLR, was one of the first senior employees of 2D to be fired.”
In a separate statement, Edwards said: “I originally turned up for a three month trip to NZ and hoped to on sell my stake in the project, it’s taken me 15 years… I have grey hair now. I learnt that humour is the DNA of perseverance along the way.”
Edwards was bullish about the future of the industry, saying: “I can recommend the industry to young people starting their careers, the next 15 years in the telecommunications industry will be dominated by big data, 24/7 connectivity of everything and total digital transformation of business, government, sports and social systems. The internet of things is here now.”