Australian ISP group TPG Telecom and mobile operator Vodafone Australia have announced plans to merge to create a full-service telecoms operator.
The two companies will join forces in a “merger of equals” to create an operator with an enterprise value of around A$15 billion ($10.9 billion), that will be better placed to compete with market leaders Telstra and Optus.
The combined company will be 49.9% owned by TPG shareholders, with shareholders of Vodafone Australia's holding company Vodafone Hutchison Australia will own 50.1%.
It will own and operate nationwide telecoms infrastructure including 27,000km of metro and inter-capital fiber, over 5,000 mobile sites, and international transit capacity.
The merged company will also hold Vodafone Australia's existing spectrum holdings as well as the 700-MHz spectrum TPG spent A$1.2 billion to acquire under a previous plan to enter the mobile market in competition with Vodafone, Telstra and Optus. TPG currently provides 4G MVNO services over the Vodafone network.
TPG and VHA have also signed a separate joint venture agreement for the purpose of acquiring 3.6-GHz 5G spectrum in an upcoming November auction. Meanwhile TPG plans to separate its recently-launched Singapore mobile business to its existing shareholders.
TPG is Australia's second largest fixed line operator after Telstra with around 1.9 million customers, while Vodafone Australia has around 5.81 million mobile customers.