SingTel extends $17b Optus bid by one month

Potential Cable & Wireless Optus buyer Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel),has extended its $17.2 billion offer by one month as it awaits approval fromthe Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Optus shareholders now have until August 3 2001 to accept the offer, to whichcompany directors have given their approval.

The FIRB is expected to look to three departments - ASIO, the AttorneyGeneral's Department and Department of Defence - before signing off on thetakeover.

Security concerns have been raised about SingTel's possible acquisition ofOptus due to the company's $500 million C1 satellite joint venture with theFederal Government.

The satellite, due for launch next year, will be used for highly sensitiveAustralian Defence Force communications.

The SingTel offer for Optus was first made in March and gives shareholdersthree alternative combinations of cash, scrip or debt.SingTel said it is confident of getting the green light on the deal from the Federal Government.

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More about ASIOCable & WirelessDepartment of DefenceForeign Investment Review BoardOptusSingapore TelecommunicationsSingtel

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