What we know about Vodafone-TPG's $15bn merger

Sunday, 02 Sep, 2018

"The blend of the two organizations will make an association with the fundamental scale, broadness and money related quality for the future", Vodafone Hutchison Australia's CEO Inaki Berroeta said in an announcement.

Shares in TPG Telecom soared after announcing the merger with Vodafone Hutchison merger.

The two telcos will combine as "TPG Telecom Limited", granted they receive approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Vodafone and Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) will own 25.05 percent stake each, while TPG will own the balance 49.9 percent in the merged entity called TPG Telecom that will be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

"TPG faced the reality that building out a new mobile network after they acquired the spectrum for it is a very costly exercise and it was - for obvious reasons - very hard for them to negotiate access with the other operators".

TPG chairman and CEO, David Teoh said shareholders and Australian consumers will benefit the most from the merger. Together, the new company would have some 6.4 million mobile subscribers and 1.9 million fixed line broadband customers.

In the absence of better proposal TPG Directors unanimously recommend in favor of the scheme.

Bootnote: Readers outside Australia should take note that TPG Telecommunications is not related to the USA private equity company of the same name.

The so-called "merger of equals" will allow the two companies to better invest and drive innovation and product improvement to give customers more choice, they said.

According to a statement release by TPG, "The merger will create a more effective challenger to Telstra and Optus, with an integrated fixed and mobile offering and a pro forma enterprise value of approximately $15 billion". The Board of TPG also indicated to distribute a fully franked cash special dividend to TPG shareholders prior to completion of the merger.

The competition watchdog said it would soon commence a 12-week public review into the merger. He continued: "We are confident that this merger will be highly beneficial to customers, shareholders and other stakeholders." as reported in Sky News.

The companies promised synergies without quantifying them and said they would prepare a joint bid to buy 5G spectrum at a government auction in November.