Vodafone sells New Zealand business for €2.1 billion

Vodafone Group has sold Vodafone New Zealand to a consortium comprising Infratil and Brookfield Asset Management for €2.1 billion in cash.
Vodafone 5G ItalyAustralia’s antitrust regulator last week blocked an $11 billion deal underway to merge its Australian joint venture business with TPG Telecom.

Vodafone, in 2017, had tried to sell Vodafone NZ to Sky Network Television for NZ$3.44 billion ($2.3 billion) but failed to get regulatory clearance because of monopoly concerns.

Vodafone New Zealand reported revenue of €1.206 billion with EBITDA of €281 million and Capex of €154 million in fiscal 2019. Vodafone New Zealand has a mobile customer base of 2 million subscribers and a fixed customer base of 0.5 million subscribers.

Vodafone and Vodafone New Zealand will enter into a Partner Market agreement. This means Vodafone New Zealand will be able to use the Vodafone brand, access to Vodafone’s IoT platform and central procurement function, and a range of services for the business and consumer markets.

Nick Read, chief executive officer of Vodafone Group, said: “An important aspect of our strategy is the active management of our portfolio and deleveraging, which this transaction further demonstrates.

Vodafone said the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, with completion anticipated during Vodafone’s 2020 financial year.

Vodafone New Zealand earlier said about 2,000 employees – with the exception of frontline call center and retail team members – were asked if they would consider redundancy. Vodafone New Zealand, which was planning an IPO in the local market, has about 3,000 employees and 72 retail shops across New Zealand.

Vodafone New Zealand’s CEO Jason Paris said late last year that the company was being restructured to get it into shape for an initial public offering in 2020.