TPG acquires AAPT for $419M, bulks up Australian fiber network

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TPG Telecom, a Australia-based competitive telco, has reached a deal to acquire AAPT from Telecom New Zealand for US$419 million, reports ZDNet Australia.

Set to be completed by the end of February, Telecom New Zealand said that they have confirmed the deal with the Australian Securities Exchange, and that it will be "free of conditions precedent."

A sale of this unit should not be all that surprising. Reports emerged in October that Telecom New Zealand was looking to sell the unit, with Goldman Sachs overseeing the process.

This is the second sale Telecom New Zealand has made of its Australian assets. In August 2010, it sold the consumer unit of AAPT to Australian ISP iiNet for $60 million. Interestingly, the sales of these assets are fetching far less than the $2 billion that Telecom New Zealand paid for AAPT in 1999.

AAPT has in recent years been trying to turn itself around by reducing costs and improving operations. In 2013, AAPT reported that revenues declined by $9.1 million to $52 million.

"We are very energized by the progress we have made and the massive turnaround AAPT has experienced after several years of hard work and tough decisions," said AAPT's CEO David Yuile in a statement. "AAPT is now ready for another chapter in its evolution, and we look forward to the future."

By acquiring AAPT, TPG said it will have a larger core backhaul network in Australia, which will come in handy as it moves forward with its fiber to the basement initiative for 500,000 businesses and apartments served by its own fiber network. TPG said that AAPT has 11,000 km of fiber across six states and territories and access to 1,500 premises.  

Australia's telecom regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), told ZDNet Australia that it would not conduct a review of the acquisition.

"The ACCC has considered the proposed acquisition and decided that a public review will not be necessary," a spokesperson told ZDNet.

For more:
- ZDNet Australia has this article

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Telecom New Zealand sells AAPT's consumer division, other assets
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