Friday, 10 May 2019 11:03

NZ fund Infratil in talks to buy Vodafone New Zealand

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NZ fund Infratil in talks to buy Vodafone New Zealand Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

New Zealand infrastructure fund Infratil says it is in talks with the Vodafone Group to buy the company's New Zealand business, along with another unnamed party.

Infratil went into a trading halt on Friday morning after it made an announcement to the New Zealand stock exchange, confirming the talks.

It said the halt in trading would last until it could make an announcement about the acquisition or the opening of the NZ market on Tuesday (14 May), whichever was earlier.

"Following recent media speculation, Infratil confirms that it and another party are in discussions with Vodafone Group Plc (Vodafone) regarding a potential transaction involving an acquisition of Vodafone New Zealand," Infratil said in its statement to the exchange.

"The discussions with Vodafone and financiers are ongoing and incomplete, and may not result in a transaction occurring. We will continue to update the market as material developments unfold."

The Australian Financial Review claimed it had been first to report the discussions and said the unnamed company was Canadian fund manager Brookfield. It put the value of the deal at $2.5 billion.

Trans Tasman infrastructure investor Morrison & Co manages Infratil. Vodafone New Zealand is owned by the Vodafone Group.

Contacted for comment, Vodafone New Zealand told iTWire that it had no comment on the acquisition attempt.

The news of the proposed acquisition of Vodafone New Zealand comes a couple of days after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission refused to give the green light to a proposed merger between Vodafone Hutchison Australia, which is half-owned by the Vodafone Group, and TPG Telecom.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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