The initial public offering (IPO) of New Zealand’s 2degrees has been put on hold amid speculation the company may be merged with local broadband operator Vocus NZ. Trilogy International Partners released a statement on Wednesday confirming it had paused activity on the flotation of 2degrees, its New Zealand subsidiary offering mobile and fixed broadband services, ‘in order to consider a possible alternative transaction with another party’. The group said it expected to provide additional details ‘in the next several days’ on whether it would pursue such a transaction or resume preparation for the IPO.
The Australian Financial Review reported earlier this week that Trilogy and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, owner of Australia’s Vocus Group, have been in talks regarding a potential merger of their New Zealand operations. Macquarie has been exploring plans for a possible listing of Vocus NZ, which owns the Orcon, Slingshot, Stuff and Flip brands, raising the prospect that a merged business could still be listed on the NSX.
A tie-up between 2degrees and Vocus NZ – the third largest players in the mobile and fixed broadband markets respectively – would give the combined company around a 20% share of broadband subscriptions and create a strong competitor to Spark and Vodafone.