RPT-UPDATE 1-Ontario Teachers, PCCW among bidders for Leighton assets-sources

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:00pm EST
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* PCCW interested in the data businesses-sources

* Bidders to submit proposals in early Feb-sources

By Stephen Aldred and Lee Chyen Yee

HONG KONG, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Giant Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has emerged as a final-round bidder for the fibre-optics business of Leighton Holdings Ltd , according to sources with knowledge of the matter, a business that analysts have said could fetch as much as A$870 million ($908.15 million).

The $117.1 billion Teachers', Canada's largest single-profession pension plan, is lining up against Australia's TPG Telecom Ltd to bid for Leighton's NextGen business, the sources said.

Hong Kong telecommunications company PCCW Ltd is also preparing a bid of around $300 million for two smaller data businesses, Metronode and Infoplex, two separate sources said.

Leighton, controlled by Spain's ACS, is selling the intercity fibre-optic business, known as NextGen, and the Metronode and Infoplex data businesses, to pay down debt.

Australia's largest construction company, Leighton has been plagued by losses from the delayed construction of a water desalination plant in the state of Victoria and a road link to Brisbane airport in Queensland state which opened in July, months behind schedule.   Continued...