Telecom NZ may sell off Aussie assets

Dylan Bushell-Embling
22 Oct 2013
Daily News

Telecom New Zealand has confirmed that it is considering selling its Australian corporate and wholesale communications provider subsidiary AAPT.

In a stock exchange filing, the company verified the accuracy of media reports asserting it is considering a sale of AAPT, but added that no decision has yet been made.

“As previously announced, Telecom is refining its business strategy to become a future-oriented, competitive provider of communication, entertainment and IT services delivered over its networks and the Cloud,” the statement reads. “The AAPT considerations are consistent with this strategy.”

AAPT provides business and wholesale fixed-line services. The company operates around 11,000km of fiber across the country

Telecom NZ bought into AAPT in 2000, but the Australian venture has been a financial drain on the company. As of 2006, its value had been written down by a reported NZ$1.7 billion ($846.6 million). That year, Telecom tried to sell AAPT, but did not find a buyer.

In 2010, Telecom NZ sold AAPT's consumer business to iiNet for A$60 million ($57.9 million), to allow AAPT to focus on its core wholesale and business operations.

Meanwhile the Australian Financial Review – the same publication which broke the story that Telecom NZ is looking into selling AAPT – has separately reported that Telecom NZ is also trying to sell its effective 5% stake in Vodafone's Australian operations.

Telecom NZ is said to be looking to sell its 10% stake in Hutchison Telecommunications Australia (HTA). HTA owns 50% of Vodafone Hutchison Australia, which in turn operates the Vodafone brand in Australia.

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