Sky TV shareholders give nod to Vodafone merger

7:35 pm on 6 July 2016

Shareholders in Sky Network Television have overwhelmingly approved the proposed merger with Vodafone New Zealand, with 99.6 percent approving the deal

Under the proposed merger, Vodafone's British parent will take a 51 percent stake in Sky TV through a mix of new shares and $1.25 billion in cash.

A special shareholders' meeting in Auckland this morning was over in less than 20 minutes, with only a couple of basic questions from floor and without any discussion.

The board had unanimously recommended shareholders accept the offer, as Sky had forecast flat revenue and an 18 percent slump in net profit to $125 million for the 2017 year ending in June, compared with the current year's forecast of $153m for the year just ended.

Sky TV chief executive John Fellet said the next step was to get the approval of the Overseas Investment Office and the Commerce Commission, although he expected it could take time get the approval of the latter.

"If nothing else, they have a big one in front of them now with NZME and Fairfax," he said, referring to the planned merger of two of New Zealand's largest media companies, with newspapers and other media and entertainment assets in competing markets.

"I would not expect our review to be completed before the of the calendar year," he said.

"There are two separate types of mergers. One is horizontal and the other one is vertical so they'll [Commerce Commission] have to get their heads around both of them."

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