Vodafone dismisses rumours it is looking to sell NZ/Australia units

18 May 2007

UK-based mobile giant Vodafone Group has today scotched media rumours it is in talks to sell its Australian and New Zealand operations, saying it has no such plans for either unit. According to Reuters, New Zealand’s National Business Review, citing an unnamed industry source, reported that Vodafone, the largest mobile operator in New Zealand by subscribers, was looking to exit the country amid a ‘tighter regulatory environment’. The story was less clear on the reasons for the UK group’s supposed wish to exit the Australian market, other than to suggest it was struggling to establish itself in the region. Commenting on the rumours however, Vodafone Australia chief marketing officer John Casey simply said: ‘Vodafone has absolutely no intention of selling its Australian or New Zealand operations’. In fact the Vodafone Group has been looking to expand its footprint in emerging markets and also has a strong position in New Zealand and Australia. In the former it has 2.2 million customers (a 53% market share) who spend an average NZD50.7 per month, and in Australia it has around 3.3 million subscribers, equivalent to 17% of the market.

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