Amcom Telecommunications today confirmed discussions over its future with a third party but did not verify reports Telecom New Zealand was the suitor.
"From time to time, Amcom has informal discussions with other industry players regarding the consolidation of the telecommunications industry," the company told the Australian Stock Exchange this afternoon.
"Amcom has had a discussion with a third-party on a confidential basis regarding a possible transaction. The discussions regarding any such transaction are preliminary, incomplete, conditional and confidential." Amcom's shares resumed trading today after a brief hiatus.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported this morning that Telecom had approached the Perth-based telco with a friendly takeover offer of up to AU$80 million.
If confirmed, the Kiwi telco will gain a 19 percent stake in iiNet through the holding Amcom purchased in mid-2006. Telecom is currently negotiating a takeover of Sydney-based telecommunications provider PowerTel, which has a 17 percent holding in iiNet.
iiNet currently operates the second-largest ADSL broadband network in Australia, behind Telstra, and has a significant number of -- primarily consumer -- customers.
In addition, iiNet already has an extensive wholesale agreement with PowerTel. Telecom subsidiary AAPT has also started to leverage iiNet's network through that agreement.
Telecom's assets and possible buyouts will make it a major player in the Australian telecommunications landscape.