Media Release: Accepts ACCC ruling on AAPT

Document date:  Mon 31 May 1999
Published:  Mon 31 May 1999 00:00:00
Document No:  184485
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  Y
Classification: 

AAPT LIMITED                                  1999-05-31  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Sydney                                                        

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Cable & Wireless Optus today confirmed that it would not proceed with
its offer for AAPT, following the ACCC's decision to refuse clearance
for the bid.

The company said it was disappointed with the ACCC's decision, as it
had argued the takeover would aid competition in Australia against
Telstra. In particul0
ar, the decision will impede the enhancement of
more immediate competition in small business and in rural and
regional Australia.

Despite the decision, Cable & Wireless Optus will continue to
vigorously attack these markets.

Cable & Wireless Optus Chief Executive Chris Anderson said, while he
didn't agree with the decision, the company is prepared to abide by
the ruling.

"We had always said that the takeover was only a small part of our
continuing strong growth. For exampl0
e, AAPT's total infrastructure
investment of around $300m compares to Cable & Wireless Optus'
investment to date of over $7 billion.

"As I indicated when we announced the bid and on a number of
occasions since, we felt AAPT was complementary, but not an essential
part of that long term plan.

"We said we wanted to acquire the company at a sensible price to help
us to build competition, particularly in rural and regional
Australia.

"The acquisition would have also provided a0
n opportunity to more
immediately attack the small and medium enterprise markets, areas
where Cable & Wireless Optus aims to be stronger.

"We will reinvigorate our approach to those markets, and we look
forward to competing with AAPT and all other market players for those
key customers.

"We have always had a range of options for strong organic growth and
our strong financial performance has created the platforms we need to
achieve our long term aims.

"Cable & Wireless Optu0
s continues to be totally focussed on
maximising its services and returns to shareholders.

"With continuing double digit growth, we remain firmly on track to
meet our Prospectus forecasts, and look forward to sustaining our
strong double digit growth into the future. That growth is firmly
based on our existing and planned business activities, without any
element of value being attributed to the proposed AAPT acquisition.

"Cable & Wireless Optus continues to be a terrific gr0
owth company in
a growing market."

Cable & Wireless Optus will remain a major shareholder in AAPT, and
will review its strategic options going forward.

For further information, please contact:

Stephe Wilks 
Director of Regulatory and Public Affairs 
Cable & Wireless Optus Limited

Tel: 02 9342 7723


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