Vodafone Australia and Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) are to merge business creating a new business, VHA (Vodafone Hutchison Australia). Airtime services will be sold under the Vodafone brand,
Both companies will hold 50 per cent ownership of the new venture.
Hutchinson, a subsidiary of Hutchinson Whampoa, currently operates under the 3 brand in Australia. Following the merger, VHA will retain exclusive rights to the brand in Australia.
The joint venture will pay a deferred payment of A$500 (£226) million to Vodafone as part of the deal.
“This will benefit customers in Australia as it creates a company with the necessary scale to compete strongly in the mobile market,” said Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao.
“Customers can look forward to a wider portfolio of voice and data services. This is an important step in the transformation of the Australian mobile industry.”