Telecom NZ’s Cook Island sale all part of the bigger picture

Telecom New Zealand’s methodical sell-off of overseas and non-core assets continues with the $23 million sale of Telecom Cook Islands.

It is the latest in a string of sell-offs and restructuring:

This all squares with the strategy laid out by CEO Simon Moutter in a series of interviews with Alastair Thompson. Here Moutter talks of the profound rate of change facing the company and how the company aims to strengthen its focus on the New Zealand market.

Telecom NZ has long been the nation’s leading telecommunications retailer but it faces increasing competition. Moutter’s aims to protect its position with a sharp focus on residential and commercial business. As part of this programme, there’s a strong push to consolidate Telecom NZ as the nations largest internet service provider.

Overseas assets where once a business extension, but have become a distraction. The Cook Island investment is tiny compared with the local operation and the management time required to watch the investment is out of all proportion.

These investments also tie up capital which could be better used at home in New Zealand.

The last four years have seen Telecom NZ move from a vertically integrated organisation with monopoly control of some market sectors to being a largely retail focused telco with an IT services operation.