Telecom nets $75m for AAPT sale

Telecom has finally rid itself of its struggling Australian retail business, confirming it sold the consumer division of its AAPT unit for A$60 million ($74.8m) to iiNet Ltd.

The phone company also sold its 18.2 per cent stake in iiNet for A$70 million, about A$11 million below the carrying value as at June 30. Yesterday, Telecom also announced the sale of a small stake in ASX-listed listed business phone services company Macquarie Telecom for A$9.9 million.

That leaves Telecom's AAPT with wholesale customers for its network infrastructure, and ends a disastrous foray across the ditch that forced it to write down the value of the asset by some NZ$1.7 billion. The company previously failed to find any buyer interest in the business it progressively acquired starting in 2000.

"These transactions rationalise non-core assets, strengthen Telecom's financial position and help reposition AAPT's operations into a focused, network-centric wholesale and corporate business," chief executive Paul Reynolds said in a statement.

The shares rose 1 cent to a two-month high of $2.01 after the trading halt ended.

- BusinessDesk

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