Vocus plans to sell its New Zealand business by June 2018. The local operation includes broadband, fixed-line, mobile and energy. The brands include CallPlus, Orcon, Slingshot and FX Networks. The parent company also hopes to sell what it calls non-core assets, these include datacentres in both New Zealand and Australia.
The decision was announced in Australia on Monday during a shareholder presentation.
During the presentation Vocus outlined the performance of the New Zealand business. It says the company's New Zealand broadband businesses added 3,365 customers during the first quarter of the 2018 financial year — that's July to September. At the end of the quarter it had a 16 percent share of all UFB connections.
In all Vocus has 192,000 active broadband customers. Of these, 53,000 are on the UFB network. Vocus also revealed the average revenue per user per month is NZ$71.18. The company has 21,000 mobile customers and 4700 active energy customers. Vocus's New Zealand landline business is behind Spark or Vodafone with about 13 percent of the market.
This all makes Vocus New Zealand's fourth largest telco behind Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees. It is roughly one-tenth of the size of Spark and half the size of 2degrees in overall telecommunications revenue.
The parent company needs to sell businesses to pay off more than a billion dollars in debt. Financial advisors have told the board they could raise as much as NZ$400 million from selling the New Zealand business. That's unlikely given the lack of obvious local buyers with the wherewithal to pay the asking price.
In the last year the entire Vocus operation was in play with private equity investors — which are the most likely buyers of the New Zealand business. Both deals fell through at the due diligence stage.