Reuters reports that bidders for Telecom New Zealand’s Australian subsidiary AAPT have been given until the end of next week to finalise their bids. Telecom paid AUD2.3 billion (USD1.8 billion) for AAPT in 2000, but in February 2006 Telecom drastically reduced AAPT’s book value to AUD628 million following a review of the company’s performance and assessment of its future prospects. The NZ group had unofficially been looking to offload AAPT, but in May 2006 said it would retain the company for the short term after failing to find a suitable buyer or partner willing to match its valuation of the business. Following reported attempts by AAPT fixed line rival SingTel Optus to take over the telco, in December 2008 it was claimed that Asia-Pacific telco Pacnet had tabled a USD420 million bid for the operator, but no deal was forthcoming. TPG Telecom, which recently purchased wholesale internet capacity provider PIPE Networks for AUD375 million, is said to be the most interested party in AAPT currently, and has been linked with a bid worth between AUD350 million and AUD400 million.