Vodafone and Hutchinson Telecommunications (Australia) Limited, a listed subsidiary of Hutchinson Whampoa Limited, have announced an agreement to merge their telecommunications businesses in Australia.
Both Vodafone and Hutchinson Telecommunications will have an equal ownership of 50 percent in the joint venture, which will be renamed VHA Pty Limited (VHA).
VHA will market its products under the Vodafone brand, but will retain exclusive rights to the 3 brand in Australia.
The merger will create a stronger mobile operator better positioned to compete in the Australian telecommunications market, according to Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone.
“This transaction will benefit customers in Australia as it creates a company with the necessary scale to compete strongly in the mobile market. This is an important step in the transformation of the Australian mobile industry.”
Colao believes that customers will benefit from this transaction, with access to a wider variety of mobile services and products.
“Customers can look forward to a wider portfolio of voice and data services, delivered under the Vodafone brand over a high quality network.”
VHA will operate a mobile network with 95 percent population coverage; of which 63 percent will have access to high speed 3G services.
The transaction is expected to close by mid-2009, subject to the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board, along with clearance from the ACCC and Hutchinson Telecommunications (Australia) Limited shareholders.
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