Vodafone in A$15bn Australian merger

It can be yours. Well a bit of

It can be yours. Well a bit of

One of Australia's most acquisition-hungry telcos, TPG, is to merge with mobile carrier Vodafone Australia.

The two companies confirmed to the Australian Securities Exchange on Thursday that they plan an all-stock merger-of-equals after discussions last week.

Vodafone Australia and TPG Telecom have announced plans to merge into a single $15 billion telecommunications giant, in an effort to take on telco heavyweights Telstra and Optus.

The new ASX-listed group will be named "TPG Telecom Limited" and have approximately 20 per cent of the Australian mobile market share and 22 per cent of the fixed line broadband market share.

Australian telecommunications entrepreneur Bevan Slattery has previously predicted that TPG will become the second-largest carrier in Australia within five years, while analyst firm Telsyte has said TPG could sign up two in five Australians to its mobile network.

Teoh will be non-executive chairman of the new company, while Vodafone's current CEO Inaki Berroeta will be CEO and managing director.

"The combination of the two companies will create an organisation with the necessary scale, breadth and financial strength for the future", he added.

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"Together TPG and [Vodafone Hutchison Australia] will have a comprehensive portfolio of fixed and mobile products, and will own the infrastructure required to deliver faster services and more competitive value propositions to Australian customers", David Teoh, chairman of TPG, said.

The merger is expected to complete next year.

"The merger with Vodafone represents an exciting step-change in TPG's evolution, and will benefit both our shareholders and Australian consumers alike", Teoh said. TPG's Singapore operations are not impacted by the merger.

The competition watchdog said it would soon commence a 12-week public review into the merger.

The entry of TPG to Australia's mobile market will "invigorate" and "stimulate" competition, according to Vodafone.

The merged group will have around 196MHz of 5G spectrum in the Melbourne and Sydney areas, with the merged group announcing they will jointly bid in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction which will see the Australian Government auctioning off 125MHz of 3.6GHz band spectrum in November.

Shares in TPG were up $1.28, or 16.2 per cent to $9.16 at 11.55am, while shares in Hutchison Telecom Australia - as Vodafone Australia is known - surged 45.6 per cent to 18.2¢ each.

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