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Vodafone NZ Needs Buyer With A Head For Complexity

Vodafone may finally have found a way to cash-up its business in New Zealand.

That follows a statement on Friday by listed infrastructure company Infratil that it and another company – believed to be Canadian investment firm Brookfield – were in discussions to buy the business.

Often, by the time such negotiations come to light a deal is a formality, but there may be no way to tell if that is the case in this instance, given that Vodafone NZ may be a difficult company to price.

The road to negotiations

There were rumours that Vodafone mooted selling its New Zealand business as far back as in 2006 shortly after Vodafone repatriated a whopping $500 million dividend from the then super-profitable company.

A sale, then, could have been great timing as it would have come prior to the arrival of competition from 2degrees and regulation that slashed mobile termination fees – which consumer groups claimed had been artificially inflating the cost of calls to and from mobiles.

But if it was on the table, it appears Vodafone missed that window.

Instead, the company doubled-down on New Zealand in 2012 with the purchase of fixed-line and broadband provider TelstraClear from Australia’s Telstra for $840 million.―Stuff

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