Vodafone Group has announced the sale of 100% of Vodafone New Zealand (VFNZ) to a consortium comprising local investment firm Infratil and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management. Once the NZD3.4 billion (USD2.2 billion) deal is completed, Vodafone and VFNZ will enter into a partner market agreement, which will include the continued use of the Vodafone brand, preferential roaming arrangements, access to Vodafone’s global IoT platform and central procurement function, and a range of services for the business and consumer markets. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, with completion anticipated during Vodafone’s 2020 financial year.
Nick Read, Chief Executive of Vodafone Group, said: ‘An important aspect of our strategy is the active management of our portfolio and deleveraging, which this transaction further demonstrates. We have always been proud of our Vodafone New Zealand business, which has a great team, and we look forward to a continued close relationship through our partner market agreement.’
TeleGeography notes that one of the purchasers, Toronto-based Brookfield, has been ramping up its telecoms M&A activity recently. In October 2018 the Canadian firm (which includes Brookfield Infrastructure Partners) acquired a majority voting stake in Irish fixed-wireless broadband operator Imagine Communications, in collaboration with institutional investor partners. In January 2019 Brookfield closed the USD1.1 billion acquisition of US giant AT&T’s data centre colocation operations and assets, whilst that month it was reportedly considering placing an offer for Dutch telecoms group KPN. In February 2019 Brookfield entered preliminary talks to buy controlling shares in Reliance Jio Infocomm’s Indian fibre and tower assets, and it also that month expressed an interest in Altice Europe’s Portuguese fibre networks.