Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Sky-Vodafone deal heads to shareholder vote

Vodafone NZ chief exec Russell Stanners (second from right) speaking at the SKY TV/Vodafone merger press conference.  From left - John Fellet (Sky TV CEO), Peter Macourt (Sky TV chair) and Jason Hollingworth (Sky TV CFO) Photo / Jason Oxenham
Vodafone NZ chief exec Russell Stanners (second from right) speaking at the SKY TV/Vodafone merger press conference. From left - John Fellet (Sky TV CEO), Peter Macourt (Sky TV chair) and Jason Hollingworth (Sky TV CFO) Photo / Jason Oxenham

The proposed merger of Sky Network TV and Vodafone New Zealand will be put to Sky shareholders at a special meeting in Auckland this Wednesday.

Sky Network and Vodafone NZ have played down the threat to competition posed by a merged pay TV operator and telecommunications firm in the markets they currently operate in.

In their application to the Commerce Commission seeking clearance for a merger, Sky and Vodafone said there was no meaningful overlap in the services they each offer.

The proposal involves Sky TV acquiring Vodafone NZ for $3.44 billion through the issue of new shares, giving Vodafone Europe a 51 percent share in the combined group, and cash of $1.25 billion.

Sky plans to borrow $1.8 billion from Vodafone to fund the purchase, repay its existing debt and fund the working capital needs of the group after the merger.

Shares in Sky last traded at $4.88 each after hitting $5.25 a share in the immediate reaction to June 9 merger announcement.

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