Australian Prime Minister John Howard has announced that the government will sell around a third of its remaining 51.8% in incumbent operator Telstra to retail and institutional investors in an AUD8 billion (USD6.1 billion) public offering. The state decided against offering its entire stake because Telstra’s share price of AUD3.50 is at a nine-year low. The government’s remaining shares, equal to around 30% of the company, will be held in a state pension fund for at least two further years. Existing Telstra shareholders will reportedly be offered preferential terms to buy into the sale, according to the Financial Times quoting bankers working on the offering. UBS, Goldman Sachs JBWere and ABN Amro Rothschild have been named joint global co-ordinators for the sale.