Sale consistent with 'NZ focus'

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 03/04/2014

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Telecom's big sell-off has continued with a conditional agreement to offload its 60 per cent interest in Telecom Cook Islands to Bermuda-based Digicel for $23 million.

Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter said the sale - which is expected to be concluded by the end of next month - was consistent with Telecom's desire to focus on its New Zealand operations.

Telecom sold its Australian subsidiary AAPT to Australian-listed TPG Telecom for A$450m (NZ$482m) in December. Its only remaining significant overseas asset, apart from its half-share of the Southern Cross Cable, is its 5 per cent stake in Australian mobile carrier Vodafone Hutchison Australia which it holds through a joint venture and which is worth A$122m.

Telecom spokesman Andrew Pirie said the company was not actively considering the sale of its stake in the mobile carrier.

Telecom told shareholders it was pressing ahead with its plan to rebrand as Spark and Pirie said the rebrand would be completed later this year.

Moutter said in a shareholder newsletter that many people loved the name, many did not, and "many are not so sure", but the Telecom brand was "simply not resonating with large segments of the market", particularly younger people.

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- BusinessDay

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