Telstra (ASX: TLS) today announced its aim to sell its Hong Kong mobile business CSL to Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) for US$2.425 billion.
The decision to sell its fast growing business may come as a shock to many shareholders however David Thodey the CEO said, "Telstra had enjoyed considerable success in Hong Kong however this was a great opportunity to maximise shareholder value."
He also said, "CSL has been a strongly performing business, the compound annual revenue growth rate was 9.4 per cent over the last three years and we have gained market share. We are proud of CSL's achievements. It has established itself as a premium brand and strong player in the market, last year adding 425,000 mobile customers."
CSL is part of Telstra's international business, which has formed part of its major growth prospects moving forward. It includes assets such as the group's recently listed Autohome (NYSE: ATHM) business, which is now valued at $US1.9 billion. The proceeds from CSL will net the telco around $600 million and increase free cash flow to $5.1 billion from $4.6 billion."
Hong Kong has one of the highest levels of smartphone ownership. A survey in September put penetration at 87%, equal to Singapore and ahead of the U. S. with 60%.
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