RealTime IT News

"I Got Tickets" - C&W Optus For Sale

[Melbourne, AUSTRALIA] Olympic ticket scalpers weren't the only Sydney siders touting their wares Wednesday. Australia's number 2 telco C&W Optus (CWO) issued a statement revealing it is considering selling equity in all three of its core businesses.

Optus stated in its ASX release that it is conducting a review of all three of its main businesses, Data and Business Services, Mobile and Consumer & Multimedia.

The statement also said Optus has been exploring options such as equity partnership in Consumer & Multimedia and a regional branding and equity alliance for its mobile business or new investment partners.

Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa and Japan's NTT have been repeatedly mentioned as potential partners or parents for Optus in the market.

However, should Hutchison decide to go after Cable & Wireless plc's stake in Optus and win, it would not only pit itself against Telstra (TLS)  it would pit father against son. Li Ka Shing is the master behind Hutchison while his son Richard Li runs Pacific Century Cyberworks (HKSE:8) which has an alliance with Telstra.

On the local front, rural pay TV operator Austar (AUN) is reportedly in discussions with Optus regarding Optus' AUS $4 billion broadband network.

A closed analyst briefing should shed more light on the potential sale of any C&W Optus assets. U.K. based Cable & Wireless plc. still holds a 53 percent stake in C&W Optus.

Still on Austar and its Australian expansion, Ferrier Hodgson's Andrew Love told press Wednesday that a decision on Austar's $13 million bid for ISP eisa will be announced Thursday.