Telecom NZ withdraws from Australian market

Telecom NZ has announced the sale of the wholesale arm of its Australian unit, AAPT, to Sydney-based ISP TPG Telecom, for A$450 million.

Telecom is expected to use the sale proceeds – which will go through on 28 February 2014 – to repay debt.

The move follows Telecom's earlier sale of AAPT’s consumer division to iiNet for A$60 million in September 2010.

Since acquiring AAPT in 2001 for approximately A$2.3 billion, Telecom has struggled to compete in the Australian telecoms market.

Its exit from the market is thought to form part of its strategy to focus on its domestic market. Earlier this year, it indicated that it was targeting opportunities in the mobile and data markets.

"The sale of AAPT is consistent with this strategy and with our desire to focus principally on our New Zealand operations and on the needs of New Zealand customers," said Telecom CEO Simon Moutter.

Telecom NZ successfully bid on 4G mobile spectrum in the 700MHz band in New Zealand’s auction in October 2013.

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