TPG and Vodafone have received final regulatory approval for their planned $15 billion merger, with the Foreign Investment Review Board indicating it would not object.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) CEO Iñaki Berroeta said in a statement that the FIRB approval “meant the merger process was now well underway.”
“The merger is now another significant step closer to reality, and we’re progressing our plans to bring the two companies together mid-year,” Berroeta said.
The merger will be put to shareholders next, with a scheme booklet to be “released in [the] coming weeks and submitted to TPG shareholders for approval.”
“A scheme meeting will later be held for TPG shareholders to vote on the scheme and allow the scheme to proceed to the court for final approval,” VHA said in a financial filing.
“VHA is working to finalise all other processes required for its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange and expects the merger to be completed in mid-2020 and with an effective date in the first half of the year.
“VHA will continue to keep customers and the market informed of progress towards merger completion.”
Berroeta said the “increased strength and scale” of the combined telcos would help “accelerate our 5G plans”.
He said consumers and investors would ultimately benefit from the presence of a “third fully-integrated telecommunications company” in the market “challenging the status quo.”