Vodafone to sell New Zealand subsidiary for NZ$3.4 billion

Vodafone New Zealand will be sold to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and infrastructure operator Infratil.

British telco Vodafone on Tuesday said it will be selling its wholly-owned New Zealand arm to an investment consortium for NZ$3.4 billion.

Vodafone New Zealand will be sold to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and infrastructure operator Infratil. The New Zealand firm will continue to use the Vodafone brand and have preferential agreements with Vodafone for aspects of the business such as global roaming, access to tech platforms, and procurement.

The deal was announced early on Tuesday, before Infratil shares began trading on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. Shares of Infratil closed the day’s session 2.61% lower, at NZ$4.48.

The planned deal, which is expected to be cleared by the end of August, will require the approval from New Zealand’s competition watchdog the Commerce Commission and the Overseas Investment Office.

Vodafone New Zealand is the country’s biggest mobile phone operator and the second-largest telecoms carrier. The telco’s rivals include Spark New Zealand and 2degrees.

According to the New Zealand Commerce Commission, as of 2017, Vodafone owns close to 40% of the mobile subscriber market, followed by Spark at more than 35%, and 2degrees at around 25%.

In 2017, a planned merger between Vodafone New Zealand and pay-TV Sky Network Television was blocked by authorities, who had argued that the joined-entity would own too much market share. With the earlier deal, Vodafone would have been able to cash out NZ$3.4 billion and also retain a 51% operational control of the merged entity.

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