Telstra eyes asset sales through major restructure - Mobile World Live

Telstra eyes asset sales through major restructure

12 NOV 2020

Telstra laid out a restructure plan to split its business into three separate units, in a move which could pave the way for the sale of the operator’s mobile infrastructure assets and a potential play for Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

In a statement, Telstra CEO Andrew Penn explained the move, which proposed the operator be split into three separate legal entities: InfraCo Fixed; InfraCo Towers; and ServeCo.

Telstra actually spun out its infrastructure business in 2018, establishing InfraCo to manage the vast majority of its network assets.

The company said it had now taken the decision to separate the business into two units as an evolution and to help with future planning for the operator overall.

Penn explained InfraCo Fixed would own and operate its passive physical infrastructure assets; InfraCo Towers would run its passive physical mobile tower assets; and ServeCo would run its retail division, including taking control of RAN equipment and spectrum holdings, and fibre assets in its fixed network.

Monetise assets
Most interestingly, Penn said the company would look to monetise InfraCo Towers “over time, given the strong demand and compelling valuations for this type of high-quality infrastructure”.

He also said the restructure “creates optionality when the NBN is privatised, and could lead to greater network efficiency and reduced duplication”.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the potential privatisation of government-owned NBN would not begin until 2024 at the earliest, and finding a buyer for Telstra’s mobile tower assets would be more of a priority in the short term.

Goldman Sachs valued the mobile infrastructure at AUD4.5 billion ($3.3 billion).

Penn added the overall restructure would be its biggest and most complex since the government privatised Telstra in 1997.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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