Investors revolt against Telstra separation

A group of eight investment firms have reportedly sent a letter to Telstra's chairman calling for the rejection of its separation proposed by the government; however, a source from one of the eight signatories claims the letter is still in draft form.

A group of eight investment firms have reportedly sent a letter to Telstra's chairman calling for the rejection of its separation proposed by the government; however, a source from one of the eight signatories claims the letter is yet to be signed.

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Anton Tagliaferro, IML
(Credit: IML)

It has been reported today by The Australian that eight investment firms have signed a letter in protest of plans to structurally separate Telstra.

The list of signatories, according to the report, includes Investors Mutual Limited (IML), 452 Capital, BT, Lazard, Maple-Brown Abbott, Orion, Tyndall and Cannae, with the push being headed up by investment director of IML, Anton Tagliaferro.

However, one of the eight apparent signatories has told ZDNet.com.au that while the letter did exist, it was only in draft form, and was yet to be signed.

Tagliaferro has not yet responded to ZDNet.com.au's attempts to contact him.

The draft letter follows the return to Australia of flamboyant former Telstra "amigo", Phil Burgess, who had quit shortly after Sol Trujillo left Telstra. Burgess this week held a meeting in Sydney with the concerned investors.

Telstra spokespeople have not responded to requests for confirmation of receipt of the letter.

Livingstone last week said that Telstra supported the government's NBN vision, but that legislation to split Telstra's wholesale from its retail business was not necessary to create a more even playing field.

"While we are disappointed the government has felt it necessary to introduce this legislation, Telstra remains committed to working with the government to find a solution," she said.

The Australian Shareholders' Association (ASA) has called the plan a "giant kick in the teeth". Telstra's annual investor day has been set for 28 October.