Goulburn Mulwaree Council will reap a near $800,000 dividend if the sale of a regional telecommunications company is endorsed.
Councillors at their meeting on Tuesday were asked to support the Southern Phone Company's sale to AGL Energy. AGL proposed the $27.5 million acquisition last month, but the offer has a time limit.
Southern Phone has sought feedback from its shareholder councils but its board has unanimously recommended that it be accepted.
Thirty-five councils, including Goulburn Mulwaree, made a $2 investment to establish the company in 2007. It was aimed at providing telecommunications services to rural and regional NSW.
Its managing director David Joss said it had grown to become one of the most successful providers of fixed line, mobile and Internet communications services across regional Australia.
"Our unique local government ownership structure has created a community focused business that has achieved great success. However, with the advent of the NBN the need for achieving a greater share of the market has significantly increased and the timing is now right for a new shareholding structure," he said in a statement.
ALSO READ: Get your driver's licence on your smartphone
"AGL is committed to maintaining the Southern Phone brand and products, as well as the existing business operations and telecommunications services to our 100,000 customers, across regional Australia.
"Importantly, AGL will continue to retain the Southern Phone team."
A report to Tuesday's council meeting stated that dividends peaked at $85,911 in 2015 but in 2019, there was none.
If the sale goes through it will mean a $785,714 return plus a $40,000 cash dividend for each council.
General manager Warwick Bennett recommended that the money be put in a reserve account to develop community facilities such as the aquatic centre's upgrade.
Southern Phone directors will meet on December 2 to decide on the sale.
While you're with us...
Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up here.