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Sensis "Business As Usual" Despite US Sale

By Oonagh Reidy | Monday | 13/01/2014

"No plans" to dump print directories after sale to US company

There was a time when we ran to the Yellow Pages for the phone numbers of everyone from the butcher, baker and candlestick maker. And not to mention getting your mates digits from the White Pages. But that day is long gone. 

And now, Telstra's Yellow and White Pages directories business, Sensis, will soon be majority owned by US company, Platinum Equity, announced today. 

But it will still be "business as usual" for Sensis and the company will still be distributing White Pages directories to customers, although "we can't say nothing will change", a spokesperson told CN.

Digital is outstripping print and its growth has been "extraordinary" but there are "no plans" to drop print directories, and there is still a place for print in regional areas, the spokesperson added. 

Telstra's Sensis revenues fell almost 12% to $1.3bn in FY13, while print revenues for White and Yellow Pages fell 11% and 25.6% respectively. However, Sensis digital revenues rose 11% to $415m, during the last financial year. 

In relation to the seemingly cheap sale pricetag of A$454m for a 70% stake in Telstra's directories business, the spokesperson pointed out the figure is 2.4 times EBITDA, similar to other global directories transactions, of late.

Telstra share price remained stable at $5.25 - a 0.1% drop - today. 

The telco insists retaining a 30% stake in Sensis shows it still believes in its future. 

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