August 16, 2019 / 12:33 AM / 8 days ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Telstra to sell minority stake in new unlisted trust for $474 mln

(Updates with share move, adds background on restructuring plan)

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Australian telco Telstra Corp said on Friday it would sell a 49% stake in a newly established property trust to a consortium led by Charter Hall Long Wale REIT for A$700 million ($474 million).

Telstra said it would retain a majority stake in the unlisted trust, which would own 37 of its existing exchange properties.

The move is a part of a previously announced restructuring programme including staff cuts and plans to monetise A$2 billion of assets to fortify its balance sheet.

Telstra said it had reached half that target with the latest sale, from which it expected to rake in about A$160 million in proceeds.

Telstra reported record low profit on Thursday and paid its smallest final dividend since listing. It also flagged that the rollout of a state-owned broadband network would cut earnings this year by up to A$1 billion.

Telstra shares fell 0.7% in early trade, while the broader market was flat.

Charter Hall Long Wale said in a separate statement it would fund the purchase through a combination of debt and equity raising. ($1 = 1.4769 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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