Telstra Purchases Majority Stakes In 2
By Lyndal McFarland
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 30, 2008
SYDNEY -- Telstra Corp. said Friday it has
taken majority stakes in two more online advertising groups in China,
which it could spin off later in an initial public offering.
Extending its push into the world's most populous nation,
Melbourne-based Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications
group, acquired controlling 55% stakes in auto and digital
website operators Norstar Media and Autohome/PCPop for a total
upfront payment of 76 million Australian dollars (US$73
million), with a further, smaller sum due by year's end if
performance targets are met.
Telstra already has a presence in the fast-growing Chinese
online advertising sector, having bought a 51% stake in the
SouFun real estate Web site two years ago for US$254 million.
"Telstra now owns majority interests in three of the leading
Chinese companies operating in the three key online advertising
industry segments: real estate, auto and digital devices," Chief
Executive Solomon Trujillo said in a statement.
Norstar operates the auto advertising site Che168.com and
computer and IT equipment site IT168.com and Autostar operates
Autostar.com.cn and PCPop.com.cn. Telstra may look at an
IPO for the newly acquired businesses in the next two to three
years, Mr. Trujillo said.
"Much like what we've talked about with SouFun, at a future
point we'd look at an IPO where we can further monetize and get
recognition of the value that we've created," he said.
Telstra, which also owns wireless and undersea cable operations
in Hong Kong, will continue to look at opportunities for further
expansion in China and around
the region, and wants to be a bigger player in the Chinese
online sector, Mr. Trujillo said.
is a strategic location for us," he said. "The Chinese
market has become very interesting because it is so
online-centric and people do acquire information almost daily
around things that are important to them."
Write to Lyndal McFarland at