Vodafone, Melita scrap merger deal

Maltese telecommunications companies Vodafone and Melita have pulled out of a planned merger after failing to gain approval from authorities in Malta.

In May, the Vodafone Malta division and Melita agreed to join forces in a bid to provide a greater challenge to fellow telco Go.

However, Vodafone today (Friday) announced that the two parties have not been able to satisfy the requirements of the Maltese Competition Authority (MCCAA) that would allow the deal to go through.

The two companies have consequently reached an agreement to terminate the planned merger.

“The parties have cooperated extensively with the MCCAA in order to obtain approval for the transaction,” Vodafone said in a statement. “However, it has now become clear that the parties are unable to satisfy the MCCAA’s requirements and consequently they have decided to terminate the transaction and withdraw the notification.”

The transaction valued Vodafone Malta at an enterprise value of €208m ($244m) and Melita at an enterprise value of €298m. Melita holds rights to football's Europa League.

The deal included terms for the current shareholders of Melita, Apax Partners Midmarket and Fortino Capital to own 51 per cent of the combined company. Vodafone Europe, the current shareholder of Vodafone Malta, would own the remaining 49 per cent.

Go had called on the MCCAA to assess the deal in order to ensure a level playing field for the benefit of consumers.