Australian telecommunications giant Telstra will pull out of New Zealand, following the sale of TelstraClear to Vodafone NZ for NZ$840 million (AU$660 million).
Telstra has announced to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that it will sell its wholly owned New Zealand telecommunications subsidy to Vodafone in a deal that will see the telco return approximately NZ$490 million in cash back to Australia via a pre-completion dividend.
Telstra responded to rumours last month, confirming that it was considering selling TelstraClear. TelstraClear owns hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) networks in Kapiti, Wellington and Christchurch, but also currently wholesales 3G mobile services from Vodafone in a deal signed back in 2009, which was scheduled to expire this year.
Telstra chief David Thodey said that Vodafone New Zealand will acquire TelstraClear's voice and data services, network infrastructure and New Zealand customer base. He said that the deal will be good for Telstra's shareholders.
"The deal is a natural one, bringing together TelstraClear's fixed telecommunications and data products and corporate client base with Vodafone New Zealand's mobile offering and retail customer base," he said.The sale still needs to get the approval of the New Zealand Commerce Commission, the Overseas Investment Office and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The company said that it expects this to take several months.