Leighton acquitted fibre optic layer Nextgen in 2003. It has expanded into data centre connect services and operates a 2000km fibre optic network around eastern Australia and a “high density” data centre in Melbourne. A report in The Sydney Morning Herald says that Telstra is a possible bidder for the company, possibly for as much as $1 billion.
Leighton needs the money after some poor performances internationally, especially in the Middle East. CEO Hamish Tyrwhitt is putting a positive light on matters. “Following the completion of a detailed strategic review of our telecommunications infrastructure assets, the board has decided that construction, maintenance and field services opportunities in the telecommunications sector remain strong.
“We remain committed to this sector of the market through our subsidiary brands Visionstream, Silcar (half owned by Thiess) and John Holland Communications.
“A divestment of these non-core assets would enable us to continue to provide those services to the telecommunications sector without owning infrastructure,” said Tyrwhitt. “We have received a number of unsolicited inquiries and Macquarie Capital has been retained with respect to the potential sale process.
“But we will not sell these assets unless there is a compelling value creating proposition for our shareholders. We will make further announcements as appropriate.”