Telstra completes $454 million Sensis sale

Telstra has announced it has completed the sale of a 70% stake in its Sensis directory business to private equity firm Platinum Equity for $454 million.

In a statement, the telecommunications giant points out the deal excludes the sale of Sensis’ voice services business, and Telstra will continue supplying services to the company.

The deal has already received approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Telstra has already booked $150 million worth of accounting losses as part of its half-year results in December 2013, with the balance of the losses to be accounted for in the second half of the 2014 financial year.

The move comes as part of a continuing shift for the telco away from its traditional fixed line businesses and towards cloud-based NAS (network applications and services) products.

Earlier this month, Telstra announced it will begin reselling a new, cloud-based multipoint video conferencing service in Australia that will allow businesses using a range of otherwise incompatible video conferencing systems to communicate.

The shift has also seen it acquire cloud-based services businesses O2 and NSC.

Upon the original announcement, Telstra chief executive David Thodey said the deal would help Sensis, which publishes the Yellow pages directory, to focus on its digital directories offerings.

“We have spent the last two years enhancing our print directories business with a rich set of digital directory offerings. Sensis is now the leading digital marketing services and directories business in Australia. To drive further momentum, we believe it is the appropriate time to introduce Platinum Equity, as a strategic partner,” Thodey said.

“Platinum Equity will operate Sensis as a separate entity, giving it the focus it needs to extend and enhance customer offerings and benefits in an agile digital world.”

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