Writing at Business Day, Tom Pullar-Strecker reports that Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners has “dialled-back” expectations the company might float part of its business. This comes five months after the carrier's UK-based parent confirmed speculation it was looking at selling part of its NZ operation.
Pullar-Strecker writes: “Stanners said it would be fair to say the company has been investigating a float”.
He then quotes Stanners: "But I don’t see any great drive to do it particularly given where we see the market – that is where we are at. We have had a good look and on balance we are probably quite happy with where we are at the moment.
“We now know the market and when we think it is right we might do something, but it is not something you are going to see in a week or two”.
Last year Vodafone attempted to merge with Sky TV, a move that was rejected by the Commerce Commission.
Vodafone engaged Deutsche Bank (which is linked to New Zealand’s Craigs Investment Partners), UBS and Bank of America's Merrill Lynch to work on the float.
In November the company and its advisors held presentations in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Europe and the US to promote the sale or part sale of the business. According to The Australian newspaper, this received a mixed response from potential investors. One of the concerns voiced to the paper is the small size of the New Zealand market and the lack of opportunity for expansion.