Vodafone bags Kiwi telecoms firm after regulator clears deal

VODAFONE yesterday won approval for its NZ$840m (£429m) takeover of struggling telecoms company TelstraClear, as part of a bid to take on the dominant Telecom New Zealand.

The country’s competition authorities gave Vodafone the green light for the deal yesterday.

In New Zealand, as in the UK, Vodafone runs a mobile phone network. But is also a player in the fixed-line telephone and internet business.

The acquisition of TelstraClear, made entirely in cash, will give the combined company around 29 per cent of the fixed-line market, compared to Telecom New Zealand’s 49 per cent. TelstraClear has few mobile phone customers, but does have valuable slices of spectrum, which will boost Vodafone’s mobile network.

The acquisition was announced in July this year but was not passed by competition authorities until yesterday.

One of the issues with the deal was the possibility of Vodafone using its strong position in the mobile network market to hand its fixed-line business an unfair advantage.

“The acquisition strengthens Vodafone New Zealand’s portfolio of fixed communications solutions and creates a leading total communications company,” Vodafone said.