Primus sells Australian unit, explores wider corporate options

U.S. telecommunications services provider Primus Telecommunications Group Inc. (PTGi) (NYSE:PTGI) announced it will sell its Australian unit to a local competitor.

Primus’ deal with M2 Telecommunications Group is valued at about $199 million, and is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.

The sale comes just months after Primus entered into a wholesale agreement to offer services via Australia's National Broadband Network. Melbourne-based Primus Australia signed its agreements with NBN Co. in January, and looked poised to compete with incumbent Telstra.

Along with the Primus Australian sale, parent company PTGi also announced that it is dividing its Primus Canada unit into two different organizations, one focusing on the rapidly growing data center business and the other serving residential and business customers.

PTGi has disclosed that it has begun exploring the possibility of a sale, merger or joint venture, after posting a full year 2011 loss of more than $33 million.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009, but emerged with new executive management and a new business plan that saw PTGI acquire Canadian VoIP operator Unlimitel to bolster its efforts in Canada and wholesale telecom exchange operator Arbinet.

PTGi, based in McLean, Va., has been a key player in the U.S. competitive services sector since its 1994 founding.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg News article

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PTGI signed a wholesale agreement with NBN Co. in January
PTGI filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009