TPG & Vodafone Ring In $15bn Merger

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Australia's TPG Telecom and Vodafone Group's local business said on August 30 that they would combine to create a company with an enterprise value of about A$15 billion ($10.9 billion). Together, TPG and VHA will provide stronger competition in the market and greater choice for Australian consumers and enterprises across fixed broadband and mobile.

"The merger will create a more effective challenger to Telstra and Optus", TPG said in a statement on Thursday.

Vodafone Hutchinson, a joint venture between British company Vodafone Group and Hutchison Telecommunications in Australia, will own a majority stake of 50.1 percent, with TPG holding 49.9 percent.

While VHA is now Australia's third-largest mobile operator, TPG is one of the country's largest internet service providers.

The two companies confirmed to the ASX they plan an all-scrip, merger-of-equals, following discussions revealed by TPG last week.

The $15bn merger will bring together Vodafone's mobile network and nearly six million mobile customers with TPG's extensive fixed-line broadband services which boasts 1.9 million residential subscribers as well as corporate, government and business customers.

Separate to the merger agreement, TPG and Vodafone Australia also signed a joint venture agreement to acquire a 5G spectrum at an auction by the Federal Government later this year.

David Teoh, now CEO and chairman of TPG, will be the chairman and Inaki Berroeta, current CEO of VHA, will be the managing director and CEO of TPG Telecom, Vodafone said in a statement.

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The Australian TPG was founded in the 1980s by David Teoh, originally as a distributor and sometimes manufacturer called Total Peripherals Group.

TPG, one of the country's largest internet service providers, will hold the remainder.

Shares were trading 2% lower after the announcement.

TPG CEO David Teoh will be the company's chairman, and Vodafone CEO Iñaki Berroeta its chief executive and managing director.

'With this merger, we will be a more formidable competitor against Telstra and Optus.' said Mr Teoh.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it will soon begin a public review of the proposed merger to identify any competition concerns.

"The combination of our two highly complementary businesses and talented employees will create a more sustainable company, with enhanced capacity to invest in new technology and innovation", she said.

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