Vodafone NZ to merge with Sky TV

Vodafone New Zealand has arranged to merge with the nation' largest pay TV network Sky in a NZ$3.44 billion ($2.44 billion) reverse takeover.

Sky Network TV will buy the operator in a deal which will see Vodafone Group take a 51% stake in the combined company, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Vodafone NZ Russell Stanners has been named CEO elect of the combined company, which does not yet have a name. Both Vodafone NZ and Sky TV will remain in their respective markets.

The companies have been collaborating for more than 10 years to offer triple-pay packages combining fixed and mobile phone, broadband and pay TV services, and now plan to introduce mobile streaming as well to make it a quad-play proposition.

Other potential areas of collaboration will include TV streaming over fiber and connected homes, according to Sky CEO John Fellet, who will become head of the media and content arm of the merged company.

The deal still requires shareholder and regulatory approval, but is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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