Offer Will Grow on Demand From Retail Buyers
By Lyndal McFarland
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, November 13, 2006
SYDNEY -- The Australian government confirmed yesterday it
will increase the size of its
Telstra Corp. share offer after strong demand from
Finance Minister Nick Minchin said a last-minute rush saw
Canberra receive more than 320,000 applications for a total
of 1.3 billion shares from Australia and New Zealand
investors during its two-week retail offer.
Mr. Minchin and investment-bank advisers originally planned
to sell 2.15 billion shares in the nation's largest
telecommunications company to retail and institutional
investors, locking away the remaining two-thirds of
Canberra's 51.8% stake in an investment fund.
"The government is extremely pleased with this strong level
of support from ordinary retail investors," said Mr.
Minchin, who is overseeing the share sale for the
government. "It sets the scene for a successful
institutional offer to be conducted this week."
Institutional investors will apply for shares in the third
tranche of Telstra, a process called T3 by investment
bankers, between Wednesday and Friday.
Canberra had initially planned to sell a total of A$8
billion (US$6.14 billion) of shares, but calculated at
Friday's closing price of A$3.92 a share, it has
applications for A$9.8 billion of stock, Mr. Minchin said.
A person involved in the T3 process said last week that
Canberra could end up raising around A$11 billion through
Lyndal McFarland at