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Australia's Telstra to seek acquisitions - media

WELLINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) - Australia's dominant phone company, Telstra Corp TLS.AX will look to go on the acquisition trail as it prepares for life as a retail-only telecommunications company, its chief executive told Australian media.

Telstra signed an initial agreement with the Australian Government earlier this month to provide its fixed-line phone network as the basis for the government’s National Broadband Network in return for A$11 billion ($9.6 billion) in long-term payments. [ID:nSGE65K059] Telstra will now look to invest more in retail technology and offerings to adapt to the changes in the industry, Chief Executive David Thodey told broadcaster ABC in an interview on Sunday. “We’ll keep expanding our product portfolio out but there are new opportunities coming along that may provide opportunities for us to do acquisitions,” Thodey said.

After the government’s deal was struck, Thodey said Telstra would use some of the proceeds of the deal to invest in new products and services to run over the high speed network. [ID:nSGE65K024]

Thodey also told ABC the A$11 billion price tag on the NBN deal was close to Telstra’s starting position when negotiations began last year.

“Of course we moved slightly but we’ve been in this ballpark pretty much right from day one,” Thodey said. ($1=A$1.15) (Reporting by Adrian Bathgate; editing by Balazs Koranyi)

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