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Aussie telco considers future

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 27th September 2000

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Australian telco Cable & Wireless Optus says it will be some months before it finishes a review into its future direction.

The company is conducting an ongoing review of structural and strategic options for all three of its operating businesses -- data and business services, mobile, and consumer and multimedia.

Market speculation in recent months has centred on a sale of its mobile business but the company says any outcome of the review "cannot be predicted".

Yesterday the telco confirmed it is looking for an equity partner for its satellite business to help it remain internationally competitive over the longer term - both domestically and in the Asia Pacific region.

C&W Optus says it is now appropriate to examine which structures for its three businesses will optimise growth prospects and create the greatest value for shareholders.

In the past three years the company's market value has risen five-fold, with after tax profit hitting A$265 million last year compared with a A$600 million loss three years ago.

The review will include options which Optus has already been examining - including an equity partnership in Consumer & Multimedia, a regional branding and equity alliance for its mobile business, or new investment partners.

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