Merrill Lynch becomes Telstra's business advisor

And gives up a role in the distribution of shares when T3 goes to market next year.

Australia's national telco Telstra has appointed Merrill Lynch as its business advisor - a job that is likely to earn the bank substantial fees over the next two years. Merrills was one of an undisclosed number of banks that pitched for the advisory role. Two of the other frontrunners were Deutsche Bank and boutique firm Carnegie Wylie.

The win means that Merrills will not be eligible to sell shares when the third tranche of Telstra worth A$30 billion goes to market next year, even though the firm acted as a co-lead manager on the first two Telstra sales, T1 in 1997 and T2 in 1999.

With Merrills...

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