Neither Telecom nor Clear Communications will confirm or deny their intentions towards Australian telco Cable & Wireless Optus, despite constant media attention over the past few weeks.
“We don’t comment on such speculation except to say we talk to a lot of people all the time,” says Telecom spokesperson Linda Sanders.
Clear chief executive Peter Kaliaropoulos says the company does have plans for Australia, even if its parent company, British Telecom, is pulling back from involvement in the region to focus on Western Europe and Japan.
"The New Zealand market is still large for us and growing, but our customers are demanding more access in Australia as well."
Kaliaropoulos says Clear will be looking for "niche players rather than mass market" to partner with in
Australia but would not be drawn further on the company's plans. "We'll take the next six months or so to identify the players and proceed from there."
In late September Cable & Wireless Optus announced it would be undertaking a “structural and strategic review” into the future ownership of the company’s three divisions — mobile data and consumer. “As part of this review, the company will shortly circulate an information memorandum to a number of parties which have expressed interest,” says the O&W press release. A spokeswoman for the company would not elaborate further.
Companies are invited to lodge “non-binding indications of interest” before Christmas.