Telecom New Zealand says it will drastically reduce the book value of its Australian fixed line operator AAPT following a review of the company’s recent performance and assessment of its future prospects. Telecom says it will slash AAPT’s valuation when it releases its fiscal 2Q results on 2 February. Reports have been rife that Telecom 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 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 original AUD1.4 billion valuation. Telecom has now suggested that the revision could cut AAPT’s book value by between AUD600 million and AUD700 million.