With the completion of the sale of a 49 per cent non-controlling stake in our towers business, we’re ready to launch the new legal entity that will hold and manage these infrastructure assets, and to welcome Amplitel to the Telstra Group of companies.
Amplitel will enter the market as the largest mobile tower infrastructure provider in Australia, with an asset portfolio of over 8,000 physical towers, mast, large pole and antenna mount structures. Our world-class infrastructure will cater to mobile carriers, government, and public and private organisations across vast areas of the Australian landscape.
We chose the new business name as a hybrid of the words “amplify” and “Telstra”, reflecting our history and the increasing importance of our infrastructure that provides the foundation for wireless connectivity in this country.
We needed a name that would differentiate our tower business in the infrastructure market, but that would also link to our long history as part of the Telstra Group of companies.
Importantly, Telstra will retain 51 per cent ownership of Amplitel, and will continue to own the active parts of our network including the radio access network that sits on this infrastructure, and our existing spectrum assets. We will continue to preserve Telstra’s strategic differentiation in mobiles and protect our network leadership.
At our full-year financial results last month, we announced that we would return approximately 50 per cent (or up to $1.35 billion) of net proceeds from this transaction to shareholders during FY22 via an on-market share buy-back. The remainder of the proceeds will be used for debt reduction to ensure we maintain balance sheet strength and flexibility.
Our proposed legal restructure is our most significant change since privatisation, and the work that we have completed to date will deliver many benefits for our shareholders, customers and people. Today’s announcement is a huge milestone for Telstra, and delivers on the promises we made in our T22 transformation plan to provide greater transparency of our infrastructure assets, to improve the efficiency of how we manage those assets, and to provide optionality in an evolving industry.
Amplitel may be a new organisation, but its foundations are more than 100 years old. It’s a legacy that we are proud of, but we are also keen to push Amplitel forward to create its own unique offerings for a more connected Australia now and for the future, from the ground up.