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Sky Television NZ and Vodafone NZ to merge to offer content

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BENGALURU: Sky Network Television of New Zealand and Vodafone New Zealand have agreed to a merger that that will enable offering customers packages of entertainment, broadband and mobile. Sky Network Television NZ has no connection with the European pay-TV company with a similar name. The deal will create a leading integrated player capable of delivering content across all platforms and devices.

“The value of this transaction is bringing together two of New Zealand’s leading brands in their field. Together, we will serve 3.5 million customers. Video over mobile is the fastest growing field of our industry. I believe this combined entity will be in the best position to exploit this opportunity. With Vodafone we will be able to distribute our content to more customers with more devices than ever before,” said Sky CEO John Fellet.

Vodafone NZ CEO Russell Stanners said: “The merger brings together SKY’s leading sports and entertainment content with our extensive mobile and fixed networks, enabling customers to enjoy their favourite shows or follow their team wherever they are.

Subject to regulatory clearance Vodafone will have a 51 percent stake in the combined group through the cash and share deal that has an equivalent enterprise value of NZ$3.44 billion (€2.15 billion). Sky will acquire all of the shares of the mobile phone provider through the issue of new Sky shares and a cash payment of NZ$1.25 billion, which will be funded through new debt, and the rest in new Sky shares.

The new Sky Network Television shares are to be issued at NZ$5.40 which represents a 21 percent premium to the last close of NZ$4.47 and a 27 percent premium to one month value weighted average premium (VWAP) of $4.25 as at June 7, 2016.

Besides being the largest media company in New Zealan, Sky Network Television is the country's largest subscription television operator with 830,000 subscriptions serving almost half of the country. It has exclusive sports rights including rugby, cricket, netball, the Rio Olympics and the next 2 FIFA world cups. 90 percent of the company’s estimated NZ$929 million revenues for 2016 are likely to come from subscription, with advertising contributing around 8 percent and ‘others’ the rest.

60 percent of Vodafone NZ’s 2016 revenues of NZ$ 1,999 came from the mobile phone segment and it is a market leader with about 2.35 million customers. 40 percent of its 2016 revenue came from the 500,000 fixed line broadband and home phone subscribers.  55 percent of Vodafone NZ’s revenue comes from consumers,36 percent from enterprise and the rest from wholesale.

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