SingTel's Optus bid gets green light from US

Singapore Telecoms Ltd's takeover for C&W Optus has one less hurdle to contend with, as the US, which exports its satellite technology to Optus, has given the deal its blessing.

SINGAPORE--Singapore Telecoms Ltd's takeover for C&W Optus has one less hurdle to contend with, as the US, which exports its satellite technology to Optus, has given the deal its blessing.

The US State Department has confirmed that SingTel will not require new licenses to operate Optus satellites which are used by Australia's Department of Defense, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday.

However, both SingTel and Optus will have to provide written assurances on their use of sensitive satellite technology.

The deal still hangs on a decision by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board. The Business Times reported that Singtel has frozen the leave of key personnel involved in taking over Optus, which is Australia's second largest telco.

The paper speculated that approval may be given by month end.

Whatever the case, SingTel has until May 2002 to complete the acquisition, under Australian law. As of August 3, it had received acceptances for 24.51 percent of Optus' shares.

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