As reported recently from the media, Telstra has sold 70% of its shares in SENSIS to the United States based private company, Platinum Equity. The sale excludes Sensis’s voice services business such as Directory Assistance via 1223, 1234 and 12456.
Business market analysts suggest Sensis was previously valued at some $10 billion, and is now valued at $650 million. Telstra CEO, David Thodey has indicated the low value sale will contribute to an increase in shareholders’ dividends. No doubt the big institutional shareholders are putting the pressure on for more. When is the CEO going to give more consideration for his employees?
The legislative requirement to produce and distribute the White Pages remains with Telstra. Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated the Government is reviewing the regulatory requirements and is considering removing that obligation.
Sensis Managing Director, John Allan claims there will be no impact to direct employees of (approximately 2,300). Sensis employees remain as Sensis employees. Shared Services employees (employed directly by Telstra) will be consulted and offered various options including redeployment to Sensis, or application of Telstra’s redeployment process. There are a number of issues relating to employee shares, staff benefits, etc, that the CWU is seeking clarification from Telstra about.
CWU is concerned about what impact the take over by Platinum Equity will have on these jobs in the future.