Mobile network giant Vodafone and conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa have struck a major deal to merge their businesses in Australia.
The move will create a company with some six million users and a combined annual revenue of US$2.7bn (AUS$4bn).
The new joint venture will operate under the Vodafone brand.
The deal will involve Hutchison making a deferred payment of AUS$500m to Vodafone to realise the difference in value between the two companies.
In Australia, Vodafone had earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of AUS$499m, while Hutchison had EBITDA of AUS$173m.
As a result of the move, both companies will be able to face up to competition from the two main operators in the Australian market, Telstra and Optus, as well as reach over 95pc of Australia’s population.
By John Kennedy