SingTel may sell Optus Satellite business

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
SingTel has revealed it may sell its fleet of satellites above Australia and New Zealand.
 
The operator said it has launched a “strategic review” of the satellite business operated by its wholly-owned Australian subsidiary, Optus.
 
SingTel added it had appointed Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley to act as financial advisors for the review, and will provide more details once the process is concluded.
 
Optus Satlellite currently has five birds in the air, and plans to launch a sixth this year. The business took in revenue of around A$319 million ($331.5 million) for the financial year ending in March.
 
While SingTel is staying quiet on how much it hopes to earn from a possible sale, a Nomura analyst estimated in an interview with Bloomberg that the unit is worth up to A$2.04 billion.
 
The satellite business primarily serves businesses and government organizations. In 2011, Optus won a five year, A$200 million satellite services contract with the state-backed NBN Co, which is rolling out the National Broadband Network.
 
While primarily a FTTH network, the NBN model involves using a combination of wireless and satellite services to serve the 7% of the population that will not be covered by fiber.
 
Assuming the project is not scuttled in the next election, Optus Satellite and Thailand's Thaicom have been signed up to provide satellite services until NBN Co can launch its own craft in 2015.

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