ASIC protects Telstra shareholders targeted by lowball offer

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ASIC protects Telstra shareholders targeted by lowball offer

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has moved to protect Telstra shareholders recently targeted to sell their shares at a heavily discounted price.

ASIC issued an interim order which prohibits the sale or transfer of Telstra shares under offers made by a company called Share Express Ltd between 30 April and 15 May.

The offer invites shareholders to sell their shares for just $2.72, or 56 percent of the closing Telstra share price of $4.82 on 22 May 2008.

Under the interim order, Telstra shareholders will be protected from selling their shares at the undervalued price until 5 June 2008

Telstra company secretary, Carmel Mulhern said the offer had been made to less than one percent of the telco’s shareholders.

"ASIC's interim order may cease at any time up until 5 June 2008 so once again Telstra is warning shareholders to be vigilant," Mulhern said.

Mulhern said this offer had no association whatsoever with Telstra, the Government's T3 Sale Company or with the final payment required to be made by holders of T3 instalment receipts.

Mulhern said Share Express recently purchased a copy of Telstra's shareholder register.

"Under the Corporations Act, Telstra must keep a register of its shareholders. This is a public document. Telstra is unable to prevent any party from inspecting or purchasing a copy of our share register," Mulhern said.

Telstra recommends that shareholders wishing to sell their shares for any reason should contact their broker or financial adviser.

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