Did you know One.Tel’s
for sale again? Centrica announced they’re going to focus all their
attention on their gas and energy interests and divest themselves of
One.Tel. They paid 58 million sterling and it seems it’s on the blocks
for a “few hundred million.” Rumour is it’s going to be about 300 million
sterling.

Stephen Mayne writes:

Given all the pain that One-Tel has caused the Packer and Murdoch
camps, surely this little nugget is the final piece of evidence we need
to conclude that Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer should have backed
their
children and taken joint control of One-Tel in a bailout, rather than
push this “profoundly misled” stuff and put the business under in 2001.

James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch are likely to spend a combined three
weeks on the stand during ASIC’s civil pursuit of Jodee Rich later in
the year. The whole collapse could have been avoided if the two
families, which are worth a combined $18 billion, had decided to risk
another $300-$400 million keeping One-Tel alive at the time.

If Centrica really does collect about $750 million from its One-Tel UK
business, there will be egg all over the faces of the media moguls and
the administrators of One-Tel. However, it is important to note that
the sale has not yet been completed and we don’t know how much Centrica
has invested in One-Tel over the past four years. However, the “several
hundred million pounds” valuation claim does appear in The Scotsman.

Peter Fray

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