Callers on hold for Australian telecom assets

05 November 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Despite the successful carving-out of telecom carrier Vodafone NZ earlier this year, infrastructure investors have walked away from Australia’s Vocus and been left scratching their heads over Telstra. Patience will be required in the search for telecom assets Down Under, Kate Burgess reports.

Canada’s Brookfield and Morrison & Co of New Zealand were the first infrastructure investors anywhere in the world to take the reins of an operating telecom carrier earlier this year, with their joint NZD 3.4bn (USD 2.16bn) acquisition of Vodafone NZ.

Morrison & Co had a stated aim to invest in digital infrastructure and had a keen eye on Vodafone – New Zealand’s largest mobile operator and second-largest fibre broadband provider – but the path to sale completion in August was far from straightforward.

That infrastructure investors have bought into a listed retail telecom operator underscores the popularity of digital infrastructure, with consumers and businesses now doing nearly everything online.

But, more importantly, it also provides a rare glimpse into the tactics being used by investors to access Australia and New Zealand’s buzzing telecom sector.

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