Australia's TPG Telecom ends $4 billion fibre sale talks with Vocus, shares drop

The corporate logo of communications company Vocus is photographed at their Sydney headquarters

(Reuters) -Australia's TPG Telecom ended talks with Macquarie-backed Vocus Group for the sale of some of its non-mobile fibre assets for about A$6.3 billion ($4 billion) as the parties failed to agree commercial terms, sending its shares lower.

"The proposed transaction involved considerable complexity and, ultimately, the parties have been unable to reach alignment on the operating model and commercial terms," TPG said in a statement on Monday.

Shares of TPG fell as much as 10.5% by 0032 GMT, hitting their lowest level since late July, while the broader market was down 0.1%.

In August, Vocus made a non-binding offer to TPG to acquire certain enterprise, government and wholesale (EGW) assets and associated fixed infrastructure assets, including wholesale broadband business Vision Network.

TPG extended the due diligence period in September, before it expired in October.

On Friday, TPG said it would continue to work on its strategic review, noting "ongoing strong interest" from potential investors in the company's fixed infrastructure assets.

Vocus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The collapse of the fibre sale deal talks with Vocus is a second such setback for TPG, whose asset swap deal with bigger rival Telstra Group was blocked by the country's antitrust regulator and the Australian Competition Tribunal.

Under the asset swap deal, Telstra would have bought spectrum and transmission towers from TPG, while TPG would have kept selling 4G and 5G coverage using Telstra infrastructure.

($1 = 1.5743 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler, Grant McCool and Subhranshu Sahu)