As expected, Telecom New Zealand today confirmed that it will sell its Yellow Pages division, Yellow Pages Group, and plans to complete the deal by the end of the year. The sale is expected to command about NZ$1.5 billion (US$1.01 billion).
YPG-NZ is a relatively small and remote operation, but it has good numbers, with strong revenue growth and strong print Yellow Pages usage. For the first quarter of 2007 (Telecom uses a July-to-June financial year), YPG generated revenues of NZ$69 million, an 11.3 percent growth rate, though we don’t have the organic rate at hand.
We would expect Australia’s Sensis as well as a rash of private equities, and perhaps other regional media companies, to be among those looking closely at this deal. There have been recent rumors that Google is interested. We discount such talk, having heard it before regarding Yell Group, which never materialized.