The sale of Vodafone NZ for $3.4 billion is the latest of a flurry of takeover activity involving some of this country's most recognisable names.

While these deals – from Trade Me to Restaurant Brands to Tip Top to Vodafone – will benefit shareholders of the acquired firms (not to mention a few investment bankers) what does it tell us about the state of the capital markets and the health of the economy?

New Zealand First described the sale of Fonterra's ice cream brand Tip Top to British-based Froneri as an "alarming trend", with leader Winston Peters saying it