Infratil, Brookfield to buy Vodafone NZ
May 14, 2019
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Infratil and Canada's Brookfield Asset Management have agreed to jointly acquire Vodafone NZ for $NZ3.4 billion ($A3.2 billion).

Infratil said on Tuesday the acquisition of New Zealand's largest mobile phone provider from UK-based Vodafone Group would be "transformational" for the Wellington-based infrastructure investment firm.

"Vodafone NZ increases Infratil's exposure to long-term data and connectivity growth and complements the acquisition of Canberra Data Centres," the dual-listed company said in a statement to the ASX and NZX.

Vodafone NZ generated $NZ2 billion in revenue and $NZ463 million in earnings for the 12 months to March 31, and the acquisition implies a value of 6.9 to 7.4 times this year's earnings, Infratil said.

"The acquisition is strategically compelling for Infratil and validates our ability to generate proprietary investment opportunities for our shareholders," chairman Mark Tume said.

Infratil and Toronto-based alternative asset company Brookfield will each pay $NZ1.03 billion, with the balance funded from Vodafone NZ level debt.

Infratil expects to fund its contribution in part through a fully underwritten equity raising of up to $NZ400 million.

The deal is subject to local regulatory approval.

Stewart Upson, a managing partner of Brookfield's Asia Pacific arm, said the purchase presented the firm with a unique opportunity.

"Data has been one of the fastest growing commodities in the world," he said.

"We expect this rapid growth to persist for the foreseeable future, driven by greater smartphone penetration, increasing video consumption, the advent of 5G networks and new and evolving uses."

Infratil's ASX-listed shares came out of a two-day trading halt on Tuesday and, at 1033 AEST, were down 4.6 per cent at $A4.15 amid a broad slump in the Australian market.