‘No, We’re Not Selling Optus’, Says Singtel

‘No, We’re Not Selling Optus’, Says Singtel

Singtel, the Singaporean owner and operator of Optus, has denied reports indicating that the second-largest Australian telco would be sold off.

On Wednesday afternoon, the AFR reported that Singtel was entering into advanced talks to sell the telco giant, which had suffered a data breach the year prior, and a massive 14-hour outage in November. Former CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin resigned not long after the outage.

It was tipped by multiple sources that the telco would be bought by Brookfield, a Canadian private equity giant.

The value of the sale was reportedly expected to be between $16 billion and $18 billion, with Brookfield bringing on Canada’s CPP Investment Board as a consortium partner.

However, in a statement made on the Singapore Exchange, Singtel denied the report entirely.

“There is no impending deal to offload Optus for the said sum, as reported. Optus remains an integral and strategic part of the Singtel Group and we are committed to Australia for the long term,” Singtel said in a statement addressed to shareholders.

“Our current focus has been on improving network resilience and conducting a CEO search. That said, we regularly conduct strategic reviews of our portfolio to optimise the value of our assets and businesses and will explore all options to maximise shareholder value.

“Shareholders of Singtel and potential investors are advised to exercise caution in their review of any media reports relating to Optus ahead of any definitive announcements when dealing with the shares of the company.”

It’s the second time this year that Singtel has come out and denied news from the AFR about a potential Optus sale. The first time was in January, and related to divestments from the Optus business.

“Singtel views its stake in Singtel Optus Pty Limited as strategic and believes in the long-term outlook of the Optus business,” the company said in a statement at the time, per Reuters.

Singtel has owned Optus since 2001, and given the size of the company, its control over vital telco infrastructure, and its huge customer base, any potential sale would likely go under he microscope in both Singapore and Australia before being allowed.

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