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AAPT Rejects Optus Takeover Bid

Australian telecommunications company AAPT Telecommunications has recommended its shareholders reject an unsolicited takeover proposal made by national telecommunications carrier, Cable & Wireless Optus (CWO).

AAPT's Board of Directors, after meeting today with some of the company's major shareholders, rejected the $5.00 after deeming it "highly conditional."

"This opportunistic $5.00 bid substantially undervalues the shares of the company," declared AAPT chairman Lee Casey. "It ignores the company's growth potential and does not include any premium for control."

"We believe that AAPT represents a unique opportunity in the Australian market for CWO and also for a number of international telecommunication companies with whom we are in discussion. The proposed CWO offer does not reflect AAPT's strategic value," added Casey.

Both Casey and AAPT chief executive Larry Williams maintained that the company has delivered "exceptional" shareholder value since its November 1997 float. Both Board members believed AAPT's value could be magnified by the company's intentions of improving long distance, cellular, data, and Internet communications with CBD fibre, LMDS, and CDMA.

Despite the unlikelihood of CWO's current bid being accepted by shareholders, the offer will open in early May and cannot close until June 7, at the earliest. In the meantime, other offers may emerge for shareholders to consider.