The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

Updated: Plans for Vodafone, Melita merger ‘terminated’

Friday, 8 December 2017, 08:16 Last update: about 3 years ago

Plans for a merger between telecommunications companies Vodafone Malta and Melita have been terminated, a Vodafone statement said today.

In May 2017, Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”), Apax Partners Midmarket SAS (“Apax”) and Fortino Capital (“Fortino”)  announced their intention to combine Vodafone Malta with Melita to create a fully integrated communications company in Malta.

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Since then, the parties have cooperated extensively with the Maltese Competition Authority (the “MCCAA”) in order to obtain approval for the transaction.

The statement said that “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.”

Melita added in a statement, "In view that plans for a merger between telecommunications companies Vodafone Malta and Melita have been terminated, Apax Partners and Fortino, Melita’s shareholders, remain committed to their objective of structuring a unique network that will place Malta ahead of all other European countries in terms of telecom infrastructure. They confirm their support to a very fast upgrade of Melita’s mobile network to the latest generation 4.5G standards and a progressive nationwide roll out of the recently launched Gigabit Internet service."

In a reaction, GO p.l.c. (GO) notes that the parties to the proposed Melita takeover of Vodafone’s Malta business have abandoned the transaction, following a detailed Phase II investigation carried out by the Office for Competition (OFC) within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA).

The OFC initiated this investigation in view of serious concerns on significant impediment to effective competition in the market. The takeover process, the largest market concentration in Malta’s history, had been closely followed both in Malta and beyond in view of a number of objections from the industry, consumer groups and other parties.

A GO spokesperson stated "Though GO does not shy away from competition, and indeed welcomes it, the proposed takeover would potentially have resulted in a scenario that would have been bad for consumers, bad for a sustainable and viable communications industry and ultimately not ideal for Malta as a whole.

"We believe that the relevant authorities have acted professionally, prudently and with due consideration to the realities of the Maltese market throughout the complex investigation process.

 

"In any case, GO will continue to persevere with its own long term strategies, and reaffirms its commitment to offer cutting-edge and future-proof telecommunications solutions for personal and business customers.’’ 

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