Leighton nears sale of telco assets

Summary:Leighton Holdings is close to selling off Nextgen Networks, Metronode, and Infoplex to a Canadian pension fund.

Leighton Holdings is set to sell part of its AU$885 million phone and internet infrastructure assets to a Canadian pension fund.

The company said on Wednesday that it has begun exclusive negotiations with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan to sell 70 percent of its telecommunications assets.

These include Nextgen Networks, Metronode, and Infoplex.

Leighton chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt said that the proposed sale follows the completion of a strategic review of the assets.

"We are very pleased to have reached an exclusive negotiating position with Teachers, which is well known for its global direct investment program and is a significant owner of assets in a number of countries including Australia," Tyrwhitt said in a statement.

Tyrwhitt said that the sale price represents a "compelling value-creating proposition" for Leighton shareholders, and that the cash proceeds would be used to reduce company debt.

He said Leighton remains committed to providing construction, maintenance, and field services to the telecommunications sector through other subsidiaries without having to wholly own the assets.

Topics: Telcos, Australia

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