Vodafone’s Australian operations will become part of a new telecoms giant in a $15bn merger announced on Thursday.Combining Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom will create a mobile, fixed-line and broadband provider with the scale to rival Telstra and Optus.
Vodafone Australia, owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison and Vodafone Group, will have a majority 50.1% stake.
TPG will hold the remainder of TPG Telecom Limited, which will be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The combination of the two companies will create an organisation with the necessary scale, breadth and financial strength for the future,” Vodafone Hutchison Australia’s chief executive Inaki Berroeta said in a statement.
“The equal terms of the combination preserves the competitive strengths of the two businesses, meaning a sustainable long-term fixed/mobile competitor to Telstra and Optus.”
Mr Berroeta will be the managing director and chief executive of the new merged group. David Teoh, who is currently the CEO and chairman of TPG, will become the new group’s chairman.
TPG is one of Australia’s largest internet service providers.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia is the country’s third largest mobile operator which is jointly owned by Vodafone Group and Hutchinson Telecommunications Australia. It has a mobile customer base of approximately 6 million subscribers.
Shares in Hutchison Telecommunications Australia surged 44%. Stocks in TPG Telecom jumped 18%.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it will soon begin a public review of the proposed merger to identify any competition concerns.