Last week Australian power company AGL Energy walked away from buying Vocus Group. This week The Australian newspaper reports AGL Energy could make a bid for Vocus’ New Zealand business.
The paper writes: “Vocus Group is believed to be considering a sale or float of its New Zealand operations, aiming to reinvest proceeds to create a business solely focused on its Australian fibre telecommunications networks.”
One of the drivers for AGL’s interest in acquiring a telecommunications business is the success Trustpower has enjoyed combining power and broadband sales. Vocus’ New Zealand business is in much better shape than the Australian retail operation.
Here Vocus is better known for its brands: Callplus, Orcon, Slingshot and Flip. It is New Zealand’s third largest broadband retailer. Vocus New Zealand also owns Switch, a power retailer and fibre assets which were previously owned by FX networks.
Vocus Group attempted to sell its New Zealand business in 2017. At the time a number of buyers expressed an interest, but Vocus was looking for a quick transaction unencumbered by regulatory considerations.
In the event, the buyers who stayed with the process were unwilling to pay the asking price thought to be in the region of A$400 million.