Vodafone New Zealand sold for $3.4 billion


Vodafone has sold its New Zealand business to utilites investor Infratil and Canadian investment firm Brookfield Asset Management for $3.4 billion.

Vodafone's British parent made the announcement this morning.

The prospect of a sale was raised on Friday, when Infratil confirmed talks were taking place and the company entered a trading halt on the New Zealand stock exchange.

The trading halt is due to lift this morning.

Vodafone's New Zealand business has been on the sales block for some time after the Commerce Commission refused to let it merge with Sky TV in 2017.

It had previously talked about selling the New Zealand unit through a share float and has been restructuring and axing hundreds of jobs to get the business in shape for a sale.

Infratil is well known for its involvement in infrastructure investments, having been involved in buying the New Zealand assets of Shell Oil in conjunction with the Superannuation Fund, which was later sold off as Z Energy.

Brookfield has been involved in construction in this country and used to have a stake gas and electricity network company Powerco.

Vodafone NZ has about two million mobile customers compared to about 700 million for parent Vodafone Group.

Kim Savage