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Melita and Vodafone to tackle Go through merger

Maltese telcos Melita and Vodafone have agreed a merger in a bid to provide a greater challenge to fellow telco Go.

The transaction combines Vodafone Malta, the country’s leading mobile operator, with cable, broadband and pay-television provider Melita. The combined company’s mobile and enterprise business will operate under the Vodafone brand.

In a joint statement the companies said: “The combination will create a new fully integrated communications company with the scale and resources required to offer competitive ‘quad play’ bundled mobile, fixed broadband, fixed telephony and TV services to Maltese consumers and a full range of enterprise services for businesses and the public sector.

“In a market where demand for converged services is accelerating rapidly, the combined company will be in a stronger position to compete with the fully integrated incumbent, Go, ensuring sustainable consumer choice over the long term.”

At completion, the current shareholders of Melita, Apax Partners Midmarket and Fortino Capital will own 51 per cent of the combined company. Vodafone Europe, the current shareholder of Vodafone Malta, will own the remaining 49 per cent.

The transaction values Vodafone Malta at an enterprise value of €208m ($228m) and Melita at an enterprise value of €298m. The transaction is conditional on approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority and is expected to close in the second half of 2017.

Responding to the news, Go called on the regulator to assess the deal thoroughly in order to ensure a level playing field for the benefit of consumers.

Melita has previously criticised the state of the Maltese pay-television market stating the division of key sports content between itself and Go was creating an unnecessary burden on consumers in Malta.