HONG KONG Dec 14 KKR & Co LP has jumped
into the auction for the fibre-optics business being sold by
Australian contractor Leighton Holdings, a source
familiar with the process told Reuters, eyeing a business that
analysts say could fetch as much as A$870 million ($918
KKR's entry into the NextGen process pits it against fellow
private equity giant Providence Equity Partners and Australian
telecommunications group TPG Telecom Ltd.
Leighton, controlled by Spain's ACS, is selling the
intercity fibre-optic business, known as NextGen, and two
smaller data businesses Metronode and Infoplex to pay down debt.
KKR, Providence and Leighton declined to comment. TPG
Telecom was not available for an immediate comment.
The source declined to be identified as the sale process was
($1 = 0.9481 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Additional reporting by Miranada
Maxwell; Editing by Michael Flaherty and Edmund Klamann)