Singaporean telecoms company Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX:Z74) (Singtel) is understood to have mandated investment bank JPMorgan to consider the sale of a minority stake in Optus (Singtel Optus Pty Limited) to Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. (TSX:BAM), say sources. Observers believe 20% to 50% of the business is at stake. This follows suggestions that Singtel was considering an initial public offering of Optus in 2022 through Morgan Stanley, as reported by DataRoom.

It is understood that talks about a sale have been unfolding for at least a couple of months, and a deal could now be close. If no deal unfolds, some believe Brookfield could turn its attention to rival TPG Telecom, which is searching for a partial buyer, advised by Bank of America. Brookfield is believed to be self-advised, and is considering a possible acquisition of Optus after a successful investment in Vodafone New Zealand (now called One New Zealand) with Infratil in 2019 for NZD 3.4 billion.

Brookfield has declined to comment. In an announcement on March 13, 2024 night in response to media reports, Singtel said that there was "no impending deal to offload Optus for the said sum". "Optus remains an integral and strategic part of the Singtel Group and we are committed to Australia for the long term." The company said it was focused on improving network resilience and searching for a chief executive.

"That said, we regularly conduct strategic reviews of our portfolio to optimise the value of our assets and businesses and will explore all options to maximise shareholder value," it said.