Australia’s Telstra to sell 49% of tower business for $2.1 bln

A man and power lines are reflected in a Telstra poster adorning a public telephone in Sydney, Australia, August 13, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

  • Telstra to return 50% of proceeds to shareholders
  • Shares jump to highest since Feb. 2020
  • Deal will allow co to ramp up retail business – analyst

June 30 (Reuters) – Australian telecom firm Telstra Corp (TLS.AX) said it will sell a 49% stake in its mobile tower business for A$2.8 billion ($2.1 billion) and return half the sale proceeds to investors, sending its shares to their highest level in over a year.

A consortium of Australia’s sovereign wealth Future Fund and pension funds Commonwealth Superannuation Corp and Sunsuper would buy the stake in InfraCo Towers, Telstra said, in a deal valuing the entire business at A$5.9 billion.

The deal would allow Telstra to focus afresh on its retail business after years of costly competition in infrastructure with its ageing poles and wires pitted against the…

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