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2degrees public listing paused while merger discussions with Orcon continue

By Ryan Morris-Reade, Tue 12 Oct 2021

Activity on an initial public offering of the shares of Two Degrees has been put on pause while discussions of a potential merger continue. 

2degrees Group parent company Trilogy International Partners, an international wireless and fixed broadband telecommunications operator, had entered into exclusive discussions with Macquarie Asset Management and Aware Super last week to establish whether a merger of Two Degrees and Orcon could go ahead.

"TIP ... has paused activity on an initial public offering of the shares of Two Degrees Group ... to consider a possible alternative transaction with another party," Trilogy says in a statement.

Trilogy says it expects to provide additional information in the coming days.
 
During the initial discussions, the companies aimed to assess whether the terms enabling a merger between Two Degrees Group and Orcon Group could be agreed on.

Orcon Group is owned by Vocus Group, which was previously listed on the ASX and was acquired by Macquarie Asset Management and Aware Super in July 2021. Trilogy is the majority owner of 2degrees.

The potential merger would bring together 2degrees and Orcon Group's complementary assets, including mobile, broadband and fixed-line services. Trilogy says that the two companies would provide better service to customers in New Zealand's mobile and fixed telecommunication markets with a shared challenger mindset. 

According to Trilogy, any combination of 2degrees and Orcon Group would be subject to required regulatory approvals, the satisfactory completion of due diligence, and the negotiation of final terms and definitive documentation.

TIP, Macquarie Asset Management and Aware Super have agreed to pause the public listing preparations of their respective subsidiaries while they discuss the potential merger.

Montarne is advising Trilogy and 2degrees, and UBS is advising Macquarie Asset Management, Aware Super and Vocus Group. 

Meanwhile, 2degrees has announced a new relationship with the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce, the two organisations are working together to support Kiwi businesses and chamber members solutions for their telecommunications requirements.

"At 2degrees, we're committed to working with organisations that have shared values and, like us, the New Zealand Chambers are focused on enabling New Zealand businesses to adapt and grow," says 2degrees chief business officer, Andrew Fairgray.

"Digital enablement is critically important to the economic growth of New Zealand, and we're thrilled to be working with an organisation that has credibility with local business and one that is known for rolling up its sleeves and doing the hard yards to support them."

The two organisations also plan to work together on a programme supporting members as they look to capitalise on the learnings of the last 18 months.

"Relationships like this matter, even more so when businesses need extra, or a different kind of support, like many, are experiencing right now," says Fairgray.

Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett says the relationship makes sense, as the organisation has a strong alignment on values and purpose, and 2degree has good offerings for business customers.

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