The merger between Orcon Group (also known as Vocus NZ) and 2degrees has cleared its final regulatory hurdle after New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) granted consent. The acquisition of 2degrees by Orcon Group’s Australian parent Voyage had already been approved by the Commerce Commission, Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and shareholders. Vocus NZ CEO Mark Callander, who will lead the merged business, said: ‘We welcome OIO consent, which concludes the regulatory approvals for the transaction and will allow us to proceed with the merger of Vocus NZ and 2degrees. We expect the transaction to be finalised in the coming weeks and will come together as a combined business as 2degrees on 1 June.’
The new company will combine 2degrees’ mobile network with Orcon Group’s fixed line-focused business to create a strong number three competitor to Spark and Vodafone New Zealand. Orcon Group’s various sub-brands including Orcon, Slingshot, Flip and 2Talk will continue to be used. The firm also owns a nationwide fibre network spanning more than 4,600km, a small power retailer (Switch Utilities), and provides connectivity for Sky TV’s Sky Broadband.