Infratil receives clearance for Vodafone NZ acquisition

By Richard Blank

New Zealand infrastructure firm Infratil has received clearance from the Commerce Commission for the acquisition of Vodafone NZ.

As the majority shareholder of telecommunications provider Trustpower, Infratil was assessed by the commission to ensure that the acquisition would not lessen competition. 

As reported in Stuff, Commerce Commission commissioner Anna Rawlings said: "While Trustpower has in the past been an aggressive competitor in residential broadband, with a particular focus on energy and broadband bundles, several other multi-utility providers have similarly emerged including Vocus, Nova Energy and Contact Energy. 2Degrees and Stuff are also competing effectively in the residential broadband market alongside Spark and MyRepublic. As it stands, Vodafone and Trustpower are not each other's closest competitors and even in regions where they would hold high market shares, such as Bay of Plenty and Wellington, they will continue to face effective competition from several other national operators.”


As previously announced in May, Infratil and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management are entering into a 50:50 purchase of the company for NZ$3.4bn (US$2.27bn) from Vodafone Group Plc.

"Consistent with the mobile market study preliminary findings, we consider competition in mobile markets is generally driven by the three network operators and is therefore unlikely to be affected by Infratil's acquisition,” said Rawlings. “For these reasons, we are satisfied that the proposed transaction should be granted clearance."

In its press release, Infratil said the acquisition still rests on the approval of the Overseas Investment Office, which it is confident of receiving. Completion was said to be likely to occur within the next two months.


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