Vodafone ‘considering float’ of New Zealand business

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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New Zealand media says Vodafone has hired Deutsche Bank to advise on a possible flotation of the local operation

Vodafone may list its New Zealand operation on the local stock exchange before the end of the year, according to reports from Wellington.

Fairfax Media’s Stuff.co.nz reported today that the company has hired Deutsche Bank “to test the appetite of institutional investors” for a share flotation. Vodafone is not commenting on “rumours or speculation”.

The move follows the decision in June by Vodafone and New Zealand’s Sky TV – unrelated to the European operation – to drop plans to merge, after regulatory opposition. Vodafone had earlier said it would offer 49% of the combined New Zealand business.

The combined business would have been worth NZ$3.4 billion (US $2.4 billion) if the merger had gone ahead, but the Commerce Commission opposed the deal and Vodafone and Sky TV decided not to go to appeal because of the cost.