Trilogy International Partners (TIP) has confirmed that it has entered into exclusive discussions with Macquarie Asset Management and Aware Super to assess whether a merger of TIP’s New Zealand subsidiary 2degrees and local broadband operator Vocus NZ – which is being rebranded as Orcon Group – ‘can be agreed on satisfactory terms’. TIP is the majority owner of 2degrees while Orcon Group is owned by Australia’s Vocus Group, which was acquired by Macquarie Asset Management and pension fund Aware Super in July 2021. TIP claims the potential merger would bring together 2degrees and Orcon Group’s complementary assets across mobile, broadband and fixed line services, creating an integrated business capable of providing better services to customers in the mobile and fixed telecoms markets. The company stressed any tie-up would be subject to required regulatory approvals, the satisfactory completion of due diligence, and the negotiation of final terms and definitive documentation.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, TIP announced on 6 October that it had paused preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) of 2degrees ‘in order to consider a possible alternative transaction with another party’. A tie-up between 2degrees and Orcon Group – 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.