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Vodafone’s M&A team has a very positive day

The towers transaction in between Telecom Italia and Vodafone has negotiated all the regulatory hurdles, while the Vodafone and TPG merger down under has gotten the US greenlight.

Starting in Italy, the merger between INWIT, Telecom Italia’s tower business, and Vodafone Towers has been approved, and the deed of merger will be effective as of 31 March 2020. The combined tower business will add significant benefits for the development of new 5G networks for both telcos, while the overarching European Vodafone business will receive 360,200,000 shares in the INWIT company.

As a result of the merger, both Vodafone Europe and Telecom Italia will have a 37.5% stake, though the efficiencies which can be realised in developing new network infrastructure in Italy will benefit both parties substantially. A new passive infrastructure sharing agreement will be in-effect once the merger has been completed at the end of the month.

Down in Australia, the Vodafone business has also received regulatory approvals from the from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to merge with TPG in a deal valued at AUS$15 billion.

“Our teams are prioritising support for our customers through the impacts of COVID-19, but we remain focused on progressing the merger,” said Iñaki Berroeta, CEO of the Australian business unit. “This unprecedented situation highlights the need for strong and resilient telecommunications companies to provide the services that Australians rely on.”

After a prolonged, and successful, legal battle with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) who opposed the merger on the grounds of decreased competition in both mobile and broadband, it might sound unusual the team had to seek approval from US authorities.

Thanks to a TPG-owned submarine cable between Sydney and Guam, a US territory, the team was compelled to seek permission to merge from US authorities, though this was a much painless process than the 10-month legal battle with the ACCC. Everything might seem like downhill momentum in comparison now.


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