Australia’s Leighton Holdings has agreed to sell a 70% stake in its telecoms/ICT operations to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) for AUD619.5 million (USD647.7 million). A new 70/30 joint venture between the Canadian fund and the Australian construction group will be formed to control wholesale/corporate fibre network operator Nextgen Networks, data centre operator Metronode and cloud/IT service provider Infoplex. Leighton, itself a subsidiary of Spain’s ACS, chose to partner OTPP – which failed in a 2008 bid to control Bell Canada – ahead of a line-up of other interested bidders including Australia’s TPG Telecom, while it has earmarked proceeds from the sale to reduce debts.
Nextgen Networks is an Australian national telecommunications carrier specialising in high speed data services for the corporate, government and carrier markets. Nextgen’s ‘Data Centre Connect’ provides high capacity, transmission grade connections between selected intra-city data centres. The operator is also one of the participants in the public-private National Broadband Network (NBN) nationwide fibre network building project.