Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Vodafone too big for us: Sky

SkyTV CEO John Fellet. Photo / Jason Oxenham
SkyTV CEO John Fellet. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Note: Sky TV shares are now in an NZX trading halt, pending an announcement. More to come...

Sky TV chief executive John Fellet has downplayed speculation of a Sky TV and Vodafone New Zealand merger, saying the telco is "too big" for his company.

Fellet last month said Sky TV had brought in Citibank to consider options for the company's surplus funds - estimated by analysts to be as much as $400 million as its capital spending programme winds down - with the board meeting this week to hear back.

Sky TV's period of heavy investment over recent years in new technology, set-top box upgrades, new content and enhancing sales and marketing will end in about six months, bolstering its cash flow.

There has been speculation for several months that Vodafone is looking to sell its New Zealand operations, with Sky TV tipped as a possible option. But Fellet said he didn't know what Vodafone's plans were and wouldn't comment on market speculation.

"We don't comment on any transactions but keep in mind [Vodafone is] a pretty big-size operation," he said.

"They're too big for us."

Vodafone declined to comment, other than to say that rumours the New Zealand arm of the telco was for sale, were still just that.

Australia-based TPG Telecom has also been suggested to be courting Vodafone NZ. It has been suggested the target could be Vodafone's landline services.

- NZ Herald

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