Leighton eyes sale of Nextgen, Metronode, Infoplex

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Leighton eyes sale of Nextgen, Metronode, Infoplex

Data centre and telco assets on the block.

Leighton Holdings is exploring the sale of its telecommunications and data centre businesses Nextgen, Metronode and Infoplex.

In a statement to the ASX (pdf), chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt described the three businesses as "non-core assets".

Tyrwhitt said that while "construction, maintenance and field services opportunities in the telecommunications sector remain strong", servicing those opportunities was "not dependent on the ownership of telecommunications assets".

He said that the company planned to keep its construction-focused subsidiaries Visionstream, John Holland and Thiess joint venture Silcar, all of which have gained significant contracts rolling out the National Broadband Network.

Tyrwhitt said the firm had already "received a number of unsolicited inquiries" for its telco and data centre assets and had retained Macquarie Capital for the potential sale.

"However, we will not sell these assets unless there is a compelling value creating proposition for our shareholders," he said.

News of the potential divestment followed a "detailed strategic review" process.

Leighton Holdings noted future NBN-driven investment in telecommunications infrastructure as a potential revenue source in its most recent financial earnings briefing.

Leighton Contractors, which oversees the subsidiaries, garnered $3.4 billion in revenue over the 2012 financial year, though the company did not break out figures for the individual businesses.

Nextgen Networks built and operates the Federal Government's $250 million regional backbone blackspot scheme

It also sells co-location space in Metronode data centres nationwide, and recently refitted these spaces to accept higher density customer environments.

Metronode recently opened its $150 million Melbourne2 data centre, which has up to five possible expansion phases.

The company is also providing two facilities for the NSW Government's $182 million data centre consolidation project, which includes construction of a new centre at Unanderra, south of Wollongong, NSW.

Leighton's Infoplex business provides private cloud and managed hosting services.

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