May 14, 2019

Vodafone sells New Zealand mobile business for $2.2bn

Vodafone Group has sold its New Zealand mobile business for NZ$3.4bn to a consortium of infrastructure investors as the UK-based telecoms group continues to unwind its global empire and focus on Europe. Canada's Brookfield Asset Management and New Zealand's Infratil Limited are paying a multiple of about seven times 2019 earnings in cash for Vodafone NZ, which has 2m mobile subscribers and about 500,000 fixed-line customers. "It is a good time for Vodafone to exit as significant capital expenditure is required as the mobile sector moves to upgrade to 4G technology," said Ian Martin, telecoms analyst at New Street Research. Nick Read, Vodafone chief executive, said the disposal of its New Zealand business was part of the group's strategy to deleverage its business. Mr Martin said Vodafone had achieved a good price for its New Zealand business from Infratil and Brookfield, given the group had previously investigated floating the business but abandoned the idea after finding investors were not willing to meet its asking price.

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