Kiwi owner reviewing AAPT's future

Telecom New Zealand plans to decide early in the new year on the future of AAPT, amid continued interest in the struggling business from a number of Australian players. Marko Bogoievski Marko Bogoievski, Telecom NZ's chief financial officer, said while several unsolicited approaches had not yet translated into formal proposals, the level of interest in AAPT had prompted the Kiwi carrier to review the unit's future.

Telecom New Zealand plans to decide early in the new year on the future of AAPT, amid continued interest in the struggling business from a number of Australian players.
Marko Bogoievski
Marko Bogoievski

Marko Bogoievski, Telecom NZ's chief financial officer, said while several unsolicited approaches had not yet translated into formal proposals, the level of interest in AAPT had prompted the Kiwi carrier to review the unit's future.

The possibilities included merger, divestment or retention, Bogoievski said.

The review is scheduled to kick off in late January and take "some weeks" to complete.

"We believe that industry consolidation makes sense and we are open to the role that Telecom might play in that," he said.

"Any action taken as a result of this process will be centred on shareholder value creation and enhancing the service provision to our existing customer base".

The news comes after Telecom NZ said in October it had been approached to sell the AU$1.35 billion AAPT business. Reports at the time suggested Optus and Macquarie Telecom were potential buyers, although neither was prepared to comment on their intentions.

Optus tried to acquire AAPT in 1999, but at the time the nation's competition regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ruled out the attempt.

Bogoievski said since his company's October statement, "further interest has been shown" in AAPT.

A spokesperson for Telecom NZ declined to reveal who had approached the telco, or how many parties had been involved.

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