Spark and the Southern Cross Cable Network (Southern Cross) shareholders have signed agreements and received regulatory approval for Telstra to become a 25% shareholder of Southern Cross.
Telstra will also become an anchor customer of the new Southern Cross Next undersea cable, which will now proceed with the construction.
The SX NEXT has been developed as an extension of the existing Southern Cross cable ecosystem and when completed is expected to be the lowest latency path from Australia and New Zealand to the United States.
The transaction will complete subject to certain conditions being satisfied. These are procedural in nature and are expected to be satisfied within the next few days, Spark said.
Build costs for SX NEXT are expected to be approximately USD 300 million.
As a consequence of Telstra becoming a Southern Cross shareholder, Spark’s shareholding in Southern Cross will be diluted from 50 per cent to approximately 40 per cent.
With significant work already completed including pre-sales, marine survey, landing arrangements, Pacific Island agreements, detail design and the cable RFT, the Southern Cross NEXT project is said to be well positioned to meet its target completion date of end 2020.
Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) shareholders include Spark New Zealand, Singtel and Verizon Business.