26 Sep 2011

First public meeting held over Telecom split

8:05 pm on 26 September 2011

Telecom appears to have won the support of Dunedin shareholders for plans to split the company in two.

New Zealand's largest telco held the first of seven public meetings for investors on Monday to put the case for separating its network arm, Chorus.

The split is a condition for securing about $900 million of government funding to take part in the ultra-fast broadband network. The proposal needs shareholder approval and will be put to a vote in October.

The meeting is the first chance investors have had to quiz the company about the plan since they were sent a 500-page book explaining the details.

Shareholders spoken to by Radio New Zealand on Monday say they will support the deal. One investor, Barry Simpson, believes Telecom has made the right decision.

"There is a choice, but I don't think staying where we currently are is a viable choice. I would suggest that from the address we've had today that most people would be in favour of accepting the split."

Mr Simpson says Telecom might not improve from the merger, but it will stop the company's situation getting worse.