Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies with approximately 700 million mobile customers and 21 million fixed broadband customers, has today announced the conditional sale of 100% of Vodafone New Zealand Limited to a consortium of long-term investors, New Zealand-based Infratil, and Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management.
The NZ$3.4 billion purchase price is to be funded via a NZ$1,029 million equity contribution from each of Infratil and Brookfield, with the balance funded from Vodafone NZ level debt and a portion of equity reserved for the Vodafone NZ executive team.
Upon completion, Vodafone Group Plc and Vodafone New Zealand will enter into a multi-year partner market agreement, which includes preferential roaming arrangements, access to Vodafone’s global Internet of Things (IoT) platform and central procurement functions, plus a range of services for business and consumer markets.
Infratil (IFT) is a New Zealand-based investment company specializing in infrastructure that provides essential services to individuals and communities. Infratil currently owns data, connectivity, social infrastructure, renewable energy and airport businesses. Infratil’s current investment portfolio of infrastructure businesses includes Trustpower, Tilt Renewables, Wellington Airport, Longroad Energy and a 48% shareholding in Canberra Data Centres.
Infratil was one of the world’s first listed infrastructure funds when it was established and listed on the New Zealand Exchange in 1994. Infratil is currently listed on both the NZX and ASX and has over 17,000 shareholders and 16,000 bondholders.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is a leading global alternative asset manager with over US $365 billion in assets under management. The company has a 120-year history of owning and operating assets with a focus on real estate, renewable power, infrastructure and private equity. Brookfield is co-listed on the New York, Toronto and Euronext stock exchanges under the symbol BAM, BAM.A and BAMA, respectively. Brookfield has also featured in a recent transaction with AT&T which saw the transfer 31 data centers to Brookfield under its wholly-owned subsidiary, Evoque Data Center Solutions.
Vodafone New Zealand Chief Executive, Jason Paris, said it stands to be a great outcome for New Zealand consumers and businesses, and one that marks a new era. “It’s the absolute best of both worlds for customers. We’ve got the backing of two new world class and long-term investors plus we can continue to tap into Vodafone’s global expertise, including all the services our customers value such as global roaming, global procurement and the world’s largest internet of things platform.”
“The key things will stay the same – our strategy, our people, our management team, our brand, and our ability to tap into Vodafone’s global products and services. What changes is our owners, who back our ambitious plans for New Zealand and who share our views on the importance of creating sustainable, long-term profitability in order to reinvest in the future. So it really is the best of global and local,” added Paris.
“Customers will benefit as we look to maximize the opportunities presented by new and emerging technologies, such as IoT, 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. And we know we have a lot of work to do to deliver more consistent customer service so we’ll focus even more on getting it right for our customers, first time, every time.”
Infratil CEO Marko Bogoievski said, “Infratil has a proven track record of establishing long-term partnerships to realize the growth potential of our investee companies, and we are particularly pleased to have secured this opportunity with Vodafone NZ. We are also excited to be introducing some local ownership, which will be important in terms of how we work together to grow the business over the coming years.”
The Transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. Infratil anticipates that these conditions will be satisfied by August, and completion will occur by 31 August 2019.
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