Optus Communications plans to float on the stock exchange during the first half of next year with Mayne Nickless Ltd, the company's other major shareholder, planning to sell its 24.9%. At present the remaining 26.1% is held by Australian institutional shareholders.
Entry into the telephony and pay-TV industries has been costly, with Optus holding a current debt level of about $1.9bn against an equity base of about $1.4bn. Market analysts say that existing Optus shareholders will be required to inject more equity into the company ahead of the float. BellSouth's sale is understood to have released it from the obligation to contribute more funding.
Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.