NBN contractor Service Stream extends trading halt

NBN Co contractor Service Stream will remain in a trading halt for close to two weeks while it reviews its joint venture company Syntheo, which has struggled to meet NBN Co construction deadlines.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Service Stream will stay in a trading halt until at least Monday, June 24, while it looks to address issues with Syntheo, the troubled joint venture company it has with Lend Lease, which has struggled to meet construction targets for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Service Stream initially went into a trading halt on Tuesday, and was expected to lift the halt on Thursday, but the company requested to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that the voluntary suspension remain in place until June 24, while the company assesses the outputs from review of Syntheo.

The initial suspension was put in place to "clarify a number of issues with [Service Stream's] fixed communications segment", indicating that the outcome could affect Service Stream's 2012-13 profit guidance.

Syntheo has already been forced to hand back the construction contract for the NBN in the Northern Territory, after it was revealed in February that NBN Co would miss its target for premises passed by the end of June because of delays with Syntheo's construction work in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, and South Australia.

It has been reported that Service Stream and Lend Lease are looking to end the joint venture, with Service Stream keen for Lend Lease to pick up the remaining construction work.

The companies are believed to be in renegotiation with NBN Co for additional construction work amid the talks to pull out of the joint venture.

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