Stake sale ends Australia government control of telco

The third tranche of shares in Telstra Corp. Ltd., known as T3, raised A$15.5 billion (US$11.92 billion) for the Australian government's Future Fund yesterday.

The sale ends federal government control of the telecommunications company with almost 1 billion shares changing hands throughout the day.

It marked one of the biggest days of trading recorded for a single company on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The sale ends almost a decade of repeated attempts by the government to sell its 51.8 per cent stake in the telco.

The sale got the go ahead in September 2005 when the government passed the Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Bill.

But the road to full privatization was a rocky one with Telstra shares plummeting more than 50 percent since T2 in 1999.