AAPT sale off? Or on? Off! On!

13 Jan 2006

Telecom New Zealand has denied that it is set to abandon its attempts to sell off Australian fixed line operator AAPT because none of the potential suitors are willing to match its valuation of the business. Reports have been rife that the telco could not find a buyer for its Australian business and would throw in the towel, something Telecom NZ denies. In October 2005 it was reported that AAPT’s fixed line rival SingTel Optus was preparing for a second attempt to take over the telco and Telecom NZ confirmed it had been approached by a number of parties about a sale of – or an alliance with – AAPT, with Optus the frontrunner. Vodafone, Primus, Commander Communications, SP Telecom and Macquarie Bank have also been named as potential buyers, but it appears none are prepared to match Telecom NZ’s AUD1.4 billion valuation. Telecom NZ is thought to be willing to accept a bid of around AUD1 billion, but reportedly no bidder has yet offered more than AUD600 million. Optus first attempted to buy AAPT in 1999, but the move was opposed by the competition regulator.

Australia, AAPT