Telstra eyes possible $400m KAZ takeover

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Telstra has been negotiating a possible $400 million takeover of service provider and outsourcing specialist KAZ Group.

Kerrina Lawrence, a spokeswoman at Telstra's national media unit, confirmed the telco had been talking with KAZ about making a bid, but said no decision had yet been reached.

"Telstra can confirm it has been in discussions with KAZ. No decision has been taken," she said.

Lawrence said no further comment at this stage would be provided.

ASX-listed KAZ Group halted trading today, 5 April, pending the release of an announcement by Wednesday 7 April, at the latest.

Sonia von der Heidt, company secretary for KAZ Group, said the announcement was "regarding a potential transaction".

KAZ Group -- one of the few large independent Australian service providers left -- is expected to net some $400 million in revenue for the full 2003-04 financial year.

The company has large, ongoing contracts with Federal government and enterprises.

KAZ reported that it had lifted revenue from ordinary activities 16 percent to $214.9 million in the six months to 31 December 2003.

Peter Kazacos, CEO at Kaz Group, told CRN at the time that there had been  a long-delayed improvement in overall market conditions for the group's activities.

"Some of our customer base is starting to spend again. Not to the internet boom era type of dollars, but more than the bottom of the market," Kazacos said.

Government-owned Telstra has been sniffing around the technology sector for other potential acquisitions -- particularly around services -- in recent months.

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