Vodafone buys iHug -Updates with details

, posted: 9-Oct-2006 18:51

VodafoneVodafone has bought iHug, for $41 million. IhugThe announcement comes as no surprise: Vodafone has been "stalking" fixed-line ISPs for a while now, trying to purchase one in New Zealand in line with its policy change that charts out a wired future in conjunction with the wireless one.

At this stage it's not known what Vodafone intends to do with iHug, but it's a safe bet it will use it for its "ZuHause" service, as launched in Germany and other European countries.

Update I Here's my Computerword story about the deal.

Update II Vodafone press release:

Vodafone New Zealand today announced it will acquire ihug New Zealand Ltd from iiNet for $NZ41 million.

CEO Russell Stanners says the deal further strengthens Vodafone’s position in the telecommunications market with customers benefiting from the combined strength of both companies.

“It’s a perfect fit. Right now, we are the leaders in mobile, however we only have 20% share of the telecommunications market. When combined with ihug’s strength in fixed line broadband and calling, we can develop and deliver even more compelling propositions for our customers.”

Mr Stanners says the deal is an important step in the evolution of Vodafone’s business in New Zealand.

“We will remain a mobile-centric business but the addition of ihug complements our telecommunications offering in New Zealand.

“It’s a very exciting time, with two strong challengers coming together to take on the competition,” he says.

He says ihug will operate as a standalone company.

“ihug already has a strong brand in the ISP broadband market which New Zealanders identify with, a capable management team and we fully support their growth plans.”

ihug CEO Mark Rushworth believes it will be a smooth transition as the two companies have similar brand values.

“We’re thrilled with this news. A strong and dynamic parent company like Vodafone is just what we need at this stage of our growth,” he says.

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