Oz’s Optus takes over cable net

SYDNEY — In the first step toward rationalizing the hemorrhaging Australian pay TV industry, telco Op-tus Communications is taking over Optus Vision, the cable network in which it already had a 46.5% stake.

In a deal finalized Friday after weeks of negotiations, Optus Vision’s other investors — US West (46.5%), Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. (5%) and Kerry Stokes’ Seven network (2%) — will get shares and op-tions in Optus Communications, which plans to raise more than $1.5 billion in a partial stock market float later this year.

This settles a court action brought by Seven that had claimed a secret shareholding deal between PBL and Optus Vision breached the shareholders’ agreement. If successful, the suit would have forced the other investors to sell their shares to Seven for a fraction of their value.

Optus Communications CEO Ziggy Switkowski said Optus can now press on with talks with rival telco Telstra about an arrangement where Telstra would gain access to Optus Vision’s overhead cables, and Optus would enter the local telephone market.

Optus is soon expected to unveil plans to spin off the pay TV programming and marketing divisions into a separate company.

More Scene

  • Ryan Murphy Pose

    Ryan Murphy on 'Showrunning as Advocacy' and the Post-Me Too 'Age of Enlightenment'

    SYDNEY — In the first step toward rationalizing the hemorrhaging Australian pay TV industry, telco Op-tus Communications is taking over Optus Vision, the cable network in which it already had a 46.5% stake. In a deal finalized Friday after weeks of negotiations, Optus Vision’s other investors — US West (46.5%), Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting […]

  • 'The Sinner' film premiere

    Jessica Biel Closes Her Kid-Friendly Au Fudge Restaurant

    SYDNEY — In the first step toward rationalizing the hemorrhaging Australian pay TV industry, telco Op-tus Communications is taking over Optus Vision, the cable network in which it already had a 46.5% stake. In a deal finalized Friday after weeks of negotiations, Optus Vision’s other investors — US West (46.5%), Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting […]

  • Comedy Converstion with L to R:

    Just for Laughs Festival Honors Tiffany Haddish, Hannah Gadsby, More

    SYDNEY — In the first step toward rationalizing the hemorrhaging Australian pay TV industry, telco Op-tus Communications is taking over Optus Vision, the cable network in which it already had a 46.5% stake. In a deal finalized Friday after weeks of negotiations, Optus Vision’s other investors — US West (46.5%), Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting […]

  • Paul Krassner Memoir Illustration

    Paul Krassner on Resisting With Humor

    SYDNEY — In the first step toward rationalizing the hemorrhaging Australian pay TV industry, telco Op-tus Communications is taking over Optus Vision, the cable network in which it already had a 46.5% stake. In a deal finalized Friday after weeks of negotiations, Optus Vision’s other investors — US West (46.5%), Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting […]

  • Just for Laughs Festival Montreal

    Just for Laughs Festival Is the Coachella of Comedy

    SYDNEY — In the first step toward rationalizing the hemorrhaging Australian pay TV industry, telco Op-tus Communications is taking over Optus Vision, the cable network in which it already had a 46.5% stake. In a deal finalized Friday after weeks of negotiations, Optus Vision’s other investors — US West (46.5%), Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting […]

  • National Comedy Center Set To Open

    National Comedy Center Set To Open During Lucille Ball Fest

    SYDNEY — In the first step toward rationalizing the hemorrhaging Australian pay TV industry, telco Op-tus Communications is taking over Optus Vision, the cable network in which it already had a 46.5% stake. In a deal finalized Friday after weeks of negotiations, Optus Vision’s other investors — US West (46.5%), Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting […]

  • Carter Hudson, John Singleton, Angela LewisFX's

    John Singleton on Disney-Fox Deal: 'You Gotta Let FX Be What It Is'

    SYDNEY — In the first step toward rationalizing the hemorrhaging Australian pay TV industry, telco Op-tus Communications is taking over Optus Vision, the cable network in which it already had a 46.5% stake. In a deal finalized Friday after weeks of negotiations, Optus Vision’s other investors — US West (46.5%), Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content