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Infratil, Brookfield in talks with Vodafone to acquire NZ operations

Infratil, Brookfield, Vodafone

Brookfield Asset Management and Infratil might acquire the business in a 50-50 joint venture

Investment company Infratil along with Brookfield Asset Management is in talks with Vodafone,  to acquire the telecom giant’s New Zealand operations for $2.5 billion, the Australian Financial Review reported. The deal comes at an opportune time when Vodafone is looking to consolidate its businesses in Australia and New Zealand. 

Brookfield Asset Management and Infratil might acquire the business in a 50-50 joint venture. Deutsche Bank is advising Vodafone.

Asset management company Morrison manages the infrastructure fund Infratil.

Infratil said in a statement, “The discussions with Vodafone and financiers are ongoing and incomplete, and may not result in a transaction occurring.” However, Vodafone’s New Zealand unit declined to comment on the deal.

Sam Trethewey, a portfolio manager at Milford Asset Management said that Infratil was in the last stages of negotiation with Vodafone and Brookfield.

According to Reuters, Vodafone has nearly 3,000 employees and 72 retail shops across New Zealand. So far, the company has accumulated 2.4 million customers since it began operations in 1998, the company website said.

Based in Canada, Brookfield focuses on real estate, renewable power, infrastructure, and private equity.

Currently, Infratil holds several stakes at airports, public transport businesses, and energy businesses in New Zealand, Australia and the US. Grant Williamson, director of Hamilton Hindin Greene, said, “Infratil has been liquidating some of its infrastructure assets over the last year, so it has a war chest for this deal.” Although the deal is Infratil’s first major venture in the telecom sector, the company has a healthy track record of managing companies well, Williamson said.

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