Optus Satellite sale “delayed”

Singapore Telecom’s sell-off of its valuable Optus Satellite division is likely to be delayed. The political changes in Australia, where Kevin Rudd has replaced Julia Gillard as Prime Minister, and which might lead to a general election, could put a temporary halt on the sale.

That’s the view of one of the potential bidders for Optus, Adrian Ballintine, CEO of NewSat. Ballintine told local press in Australia that “It’s highly unlikely that the decision on the sale of Optus [Satellite] could be made while there is an election announcement in progress.”

Singapore Telecom announced the potential sale in March and analysts have said the telco is looking for more than $2 billion for its satellite division which covers Australia and much of South-East Asia.

NewSat is a declared bidder for the 5-satellite business, while a Eutelsat/KKR consortium, as well as SES of Luxembourg, JSAT/Sky Perfect of Japan and Asia Satellite Telecommunications are all reportedly interested in the assets.

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