Malta’s quad play telecommunications operator Melita is currently in the process of preparing a bid to acquire Vodafone Malta, according to industry sources.
Back in February 2016, the French firm Apax Partners acquired a majority of shares in Melita, 86% in total while Belgian company Fortino Capital also gained 12% last year and the remainder 2% went to management. While talks have gone on in the past between the two companies about the potential of a merger, it was Apax Partners who were the initiators of this latest move to attain Vodafone.
Vodafone Malta is wholly owned by the Vodafone Group and currently offers mobile phone services and nationwide Wi-Fi internet coverage.
According to the TMT Finance, a reputable industry journal, unnamed sources quoted that Melita is preparing a takeover bid unlike any in the past. It stated that Apax was in a fairly advanced stage of negotiations with a few banks about a loan deal to back the acquisition.
TMT Finance went on to say that little is still known of the details and valuation, however, the deal appeared to be the results of bilateral talks.
No comment is being made at the moment by either Melita or Vodafone representatives but sources believe that a takeover like this makes absolute sense seeing that Melita’s mobile offering is currently the weakest in its portfolio.
As explained by industry sources, it is expected that Melita would carry more value with Apax expecting a better return should it decide to sell its shares in the future if this deal goes through. Apax, like many investment companies, make acquisitions keeping an eye on long-term gains in the future when they sell out.
Seeing that the mobile phone sector in Malta currently comprises of three companies, this deal, if it transpires, will have to be cleared by the regulator as it will be reducing the competition.