Vodafone becomes New Zealand’s number two telco as Telstra exits

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Mobile operator completes NZ$840 million acquisition of TelstraClear.

Vodafone on Wednesday announced that it has completed the NZ$840 million (€535 million) acquisition of TelstraClear, making it the second largest telecommunications operator in New Zealand.

The deal received regulatory approval on Tuesday and was formally completed a day later.

“The acquisition strengthens Vodafone New Zealand’s portfolio of fixed communications solutions and creates a leading total communications company in New Zealand,” Vodafone said in a statement.

The move marks the departure of Australian incumbent Telstra from New Zealand.

When the deal was announced in July the former owner of TelstraClear said exiting New Zealand was consistent with its overall strategy and capital management framework.

“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,” Telstra chief executive David Thodey said at the time.

Vodafone is New Zealand’s largest mobile operator, with 2.37 million customers as of mid-2012, compared with Telecom Corp’s 1.6 million. The market’s third player 2degrees announced it had reached the 1 million customers milestone in early August after three years in the market.

TelstraClear generated sales revenue of A$502 million in Telstra’s most recent financial year to 30 June 2012, down 2.7% on the previous year.