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Excite@Home Pulls Out of Australian Venture

Troubled cable broadband provider Excite@Home sold its stake in its Australian venture, Excite@Home Australia, to venture partner Cable & Wireless Optus late Monday.

@Home said the deal allows it to focus on its core competency -- providing broadband technologies and services. The company said it will continue to provide those technologies, as well as brand licensing the Excite@Home Australia name, to Optus on new terms to reflect the restructured relationship.

The two companies formed the Excite@Home Australia venture in June 1999. Optus provided its pay TV broadband cable network for the venture. SingTel Australia, the Australian arm of Singapore-based telco SingTel, has since made an offer to buy all outstanding shares of Optus.

"This partnership helps us to further streamline our business and focus on broadband," said Patti Hart, chairman and chief executive officer of Excite@Home. "This relationship also benefits both of our companies. Building on our restructured relationship with Essent Kabelcom in the Benelux region, this is the second example of how we envision other relationships with cable operators could be structured, ultimately making Excite@Home a provider of multiple services for last-mile owners."