Singtel dismisses reports it is looking to sell Optus: ‘We are committed to Australia for the long term’

Singtel has denied reports that it is looking to sell Optus.

The AFR reported this week that the parent company to the Australian telco is looking to sell Optus, which it has owned since 2001, to Toronto-based Brookfield for $16 billion. However in an SGX listing given to Mumbrella on Thursday, Singtel denied the report, saying “there is no impending deal to offload Optus for the said sum, as reported” and it is focused on recruiting a new CEO following the resignation of Kelly Bayer Rosmarin last year.

“Optus remains an integral and strategic part of the Singtel Group and we are committed to Australia for the long term,” the statement reads.

“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.”

The statement concludes: “Singtel will make an announcement if and when there are any material developments which warrant disclosure in accordance with our obligations under the Listing Manual of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.”

It has undoubtedly been a trying few months for Optus, which saw Bayer Rosmarin step down last November after an Optus outage earlier that month which left 10 million customers without the ability to make phone calls or access the internet.

Optus’ chief financial officer, Michael Venter, has worked as interim CEO since that time.

Following Bayer Rosmarin’s resignation, Yeun Kuan Moon, CEO of Singtel Group, said: “Optus appointed Kelly at the beginning of the pandemic, and we acknowledge her leadership, commitment and hard work throughout what has been a challenging period and thank her for her dedication and service to Optus.

“We recognise the need for Optus to regain customer trust and confidence as the team works through the impact and consequences of the recent outage and continues to improve. Optus’ priority is about setting on a path of renewal for the benefit of the community and customers.”

Mumbrella has contacted Optus for further comment.


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