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Telecom New Zealand exits Australia with AAPT sale

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The last remnant of one of Australia's first batch of competitive telecommunications carriers, AAPT, has been sold to TPG for $NZ450 million (about $AU410 million).

The sale marks the exit of Telecom New Zealand from the Australian market. In 2010 TNZ sold AAPT's consumer customers to iiNet for $NZ60 million.

TPG outbid rivals iiNet and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan to win the deal.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the sale was managed by Goldman Sachs, and the price represents a 6.4 multiple of AAPT's EBITDA of $NZ70 million.

AAPT was snapped up by TNZ at the height of the dotcom boom for more than $AU2 billion, in a deal proposed in 1999 and finalised early in 2000.

The acquisition gives TPG AAPT's east coast intercapital fibre network that links Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, along with a number of regional centres, as well as metro links connecting more than 1,500 business locations and AAPT data centres in major capitals. This would complement the metro fibre networks TPG acquired when it purchased PIPE Networks in 2010.

TNZ will use the cash from the sale to pay down debt. ®

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