VHA to be offered for sale?

16 Mar 2012

Australian mobile network operator Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) could be put up for sale, The Australian reports, claiming that a preliminary information memorandum has been circulated to operators and sovereign wealth funds in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere with a view to testing the market reaction to such a move. Qtel, Etisalat, Korea Telecom, NTT Docomo and China Telecom are all named as companies that are believed to have seen the initial sales document.

Both VHA and UK-based Vodafone Group, which has a 50% stake in the operator, have, however, denied such developments, with a Vodafone Group spokesman cited as saying: ‘Vodafone remains fully committed to our operations in Australia and our sole focus is on the turnaround of the business.’ Hutchison Whampoa, which holds the other 50% stake in VHA, has meanwhile also said it is committed to the operator, with managing director Canning Fok pledging financial support through the turnaround. ‘We have provided and will continue to provide extensive financial support for VHA to accelerate the work needed to ensure all of our customers in Australia enjoy state-of-the-art mobile network services.’