Leighton sells fibre-optic asset to Ontario Teachers'

Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:53pm EDT
 
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SYDNEY, March 28 (Reuters) - Australia's Leighton Holdings Ltd said on Thursday it had agreed to sell around sell 70 percent of its telecommunication assets, including its NextGen Networks fibre-optic business, to Canada's Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, in a deal valuing the assets at A$885 million ($915.93 million).

Leighton, Australia's largest construction company, will retain around 30 percent of the businesses under a new ownership structure with the pension plan.

"We have formed a very positive relationship during the sale process that augurs well for the future development of these telecommunications businesses," Leighton Chief Executive Hamish Tyrwhitt said in a statement.

The $117.1 billion Ontario Teachers' fund, Canada's largest single-profession pension plan, had lined up against Australia's TPG Telecom Ltd to bid for Leighton's NextGen business, sources previously told Reuters.

Leighton, controlled by Spain's ACS, has said it intends to use cash from the sale to reduce its debt. Alongside NextGen, the sale included the Metronode and Infoplex data businesses.

(Reporting by Jane Wardell)