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Sky-Vodafone merger a step closer

Sky’s shareholders voted in favour of the merger with Vodafone today, with less than one per cent of votes going against the plan.

The resolutions to do the deal with Vodafone required a minimum of 75% of votes to pass, which were guaranteed before today’s meeting of shareholders commenced. Proxy votes committed ahead of the meeting delivered 78% of the shareholding for the merger. Votes cast at the meeting took the result to over 99% in favour of the plan.

The deal will see Sky borrow money from Vodafone NZ’s UK parent company, use that money to buy Vodafone NZ. Sky will end up as the minority partner once the deal is complete, by delivering to Vodafone 51% of shares in the new entity.

The deal will now be put before the Commerce Commission, and is not expected to be concluded for a few months yet. The Commerce Commission is currently considering another merger of major media companies, that of Stuff owner Fairfax and the NZ Herald’s owner NZME.

If approved, the Sky-Vodafone merger will create a company worth around $3 billion. The companies have claimed the merger will generate cost-savings of c$850 million, although there’s been scepticism from some commentators about that number.

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