Telecom NZ wants rid of AAPT by May

22 Mar 2006

Telecom New Zealand says it will receive formal proposals from potential buyers for its Australian business, including fixed line operator AAPT, over the next month and aims to decide on the unit’s future by 5 May, according to Reuters. Telecom NZ drastically reduced the book value of AAPT last month, following a review of the company’s recent performance and assessment of its future prospects. 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 Telecom NZ confirmed it has 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 none were prepared to match Telecom NZ’s original AUD1.4 billion (USD1 billion) valuation and it has now cut AAPT’s book value to AUD628 million.

Australia, AAPT, Spark New Zealand Group