Telstra to sell its directories business, Sensis for $3b

Telstra to sell its directories business, Sensis for $3bReports say, Telstra is in talks with a United States private equity firm to sell its directories business, Sensis, for $3 billion.

In an attempt to turn the telco's focus to its technology packages and PAY-TV bundles, David Thodey the company's CEO is believed to be ready to sell the directory business as the company adapts to the digital media landscape.

The sale would be a defining moment for the company, dissociating from it of what was once a vast part of its role in Australian life.  Sensis publishes printed residential and commercial phone directories which have been made increasingly outdated by the likes of Google.

In case the sale proceeded forward, it would be the first time these directories got printed by a foreign company.  Sensis also runs digital equivalents of the directories.

With a deal probable as soon as next week, the $65 billion telco is expected to return excess cash to shareholders.

Telstra shares have moved up by 17.4% over the past 12 months compared the S&P/ASX 200 index which when up 12.7%. The Sensis negotiations, could see Telstra gather a war chest of $9 billion, which would follow the telco's sale of its Hong Kong mobile service provider, CSL, in December for $US2.42 billion.