(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand investment company Infratil will take full control of the nation’s second-biggest phone company after agreeing to buy out its partner Brookfield Asset Management.
Infratil will increase its stake in One New Zealand to 99.9% from 49.95% after buying Brookfield’s stake for NZ$1.8 billion ($1.1 billion) the Wellington-based company said Wednesday. It will part-fund the deal from a discounted NZ$750 million share placement to be conducted later Wednesday.
Infratil shares are halted pending the placement at NZ$9.20 a share, which compares to the NZ$10.10 close in Wellington Tuesday.
Full control will give Infratil access to One New Zealand’s cash flows to support its wider investment plans. The phone company, formerly Vodafone New Zealand, has 2.7 million connections across its mobile and broadband networks, and an emerging digital presence that challenges market leader Spark New Zealand.
Brookfield, which joined with Infratil in 2019 to buy the business from Vodafone Group Plc for NZ$3.4 billion, said it continues to see further long-term value in the company but was attracted to realizing a strong return now.
“Further investment in One NZ is strategically and financially compelling for Infratil and our shareholders,” said Chief Executive Officer Jason Boyes. “One NZ has had strong momentum following the recent rebrand and other business transformation initiatives that are ongoing, with further upside to be realized.”
Infratil raised its earnings guidance for proportionate Ebitdaf by NZ$130 million to a range of NZ$800 million to NZ$840 million.
In addition to today’s share placement, Infratil will seek NZ$100 million from a retail share offer. It will fund the remaining NZ$950 million of the transaction from cash reserves and debt.
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