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Infratil in talks to buy Vodafone NZ

Friday 10th May 2019

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Infratil says it is in talks with another party to buy Vodafone Group's New Zealand business.

Infratil, which is managed by Morrison and Co, was put on a trading halt by the New Zealand stock exchange. The stock last traded at $4.60.

"Following recent media speculation, Infratil confirms that it and another party are in discussions with Vodafone Group Plc regarding a potential transaction involving an acquisition of Vodafone New Zealand. The discussions with Vodafone and financiers are ongoing and incomplete, and may not result in a transaction occurring," it said. 

The trading halt will remain in place until an announcement is made or the market opens on Tuesday, the NZX said. 

The Australian Financial Review earlier reported that Morrison and Co and Canada's Brookfield Asset Management were in "late-stage talks" to buy Vodafone NZ in a 50:50 joint venture in a deal thought to be worth A$2.5 billion. 

Vodafone New Zealand declined to comment. Brookfield was not immediately available to comment.  

Lenders have reportedly lined up a funding package that includes about half a dozen banks and "were working through due diligence materials" in an effort to firm up their interest, the AFR said. 

Deutsche Bank is advising Vodafone.

The move, if completed, will dash hopes for a sizeable listing on the New Zealand stock exchange. 

In November, Vodafone New Zealand's new chief executive Jason Parish said the plan was to float the company and the target for the initial public offering was 2020.

Earlier this week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission blocked a A$15 billion merger of TPG Telecom and Vodafone's Australian business, arguing it would reduce competition. 

(BusinessDesk)



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