Press reports from Malta are suggesting that local multi-play operator Melita is interested in acquiring the country’s mobile market leader, Vodafone. The Times of Malta cites industry sources who claim Melita’s move is being driven by French private equity firm Apax Partners, which acquired an 86% stake in Melita in February 2016. Apax is thought to be in negotiations with a number of financial institutions to secure loans to help finance the buyout.
There have been rumours of consolidation between the two companies in the past, though they were driven by Vodafone, which was looking to tie up with Melita to gain a presence in the island’s broadband and pay-TV markets. The latest move is unusual in that Melita has been named as the potential purchaser. Neither Melita nor Vodafone has commented on the recent speculation.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodafone claimed around 45% of Malta’s mobile subscribers at the end of 2016, ahead of GO with 38% and Melita with 17%. Melita and GO dominate the fixed line and pay-TV sectors, meanwhile.