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Optus Tipped To List Valuation $8-12 Billion

Singtel, the owner of Optus, is planning to float the telco on the ASX in what will be one of the biggest ever public floats in Australia.

Optus is estimated to be worth in the region of A$8 billion and A$12 billion, according to analysts, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley working on the plan to float the telco over the past few months.

Singtel has been decentralising its business operations of late.

From July 1, business-to-business arm Optus Enterprises will no longer run from Singapore, instead returning operations to Australia

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin (above) spoke of the “more unified and collaborative approach across Optus”, noting they “will be able to better meet the localised need of our business customer and bring solutions to market more quickly” while leveraging “the insights and global reach of Singtel.”

Optus has also bolstered its subscription sports offerings, extending its media rights for the UEFA European Football Championship through to 2024, as well as paying upward of A$100 million a year for the English Premier League rights.

For the past six years, Optus Sport was a bolt-on proposition to an Optus phone subscription, but as of August 1, the company will charge $24.99 per month or $199 for an annual pass.

Optus posted an operating revenue drop of 5.8 per cent for the year ending March 31.

Revenue was down from $8.32 billion to $7.38 billion, with operating expenses down 10 per cent.

Despite this, the company is still operating well, with Bayer Rosmarin noting that falling NBN payments, along with a slide in equipment sales during the pandemic, were responsible for the drop in revenue.

Optus did, however, add 273,000 new mobile customers during the last year, with mobile average revenue per user up 8.1 per cent – a sign of rising plan prices as users chew up more and more data.

EBITDA also jumped by 3.5 per cent, while EBIT leaped 32 per cent to A$249 million.

Last year, Optus sold a 70 per cent stake in its towers company for $1.9 billion, to free up funds for a nation-wide 5G roll out. Bayer Rosmarin said at the time the sale “unlocks significant value for the organisation.”

It’s an odd time to be floating the company, given the massive downgrading of tech and communications stock and the general volatility of the Australian and global markets.

Singtel is Singapore’s second largest publicly listed business. Some fear the floating of Optus will devalue its parent company, as investors move to buy directly into the telco, rather than the parent company.



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