Nearly three decades after it established itself as the first mobile phone network operator and service provider on the island, Vodafone Malta has announced that it’s on sale. You’re too late if you were hoping on buying it though; an agreement has already been reached.
Earlier this morning, Vodafone Group plc announced that Monaco Telecom – owned by French telecomms billionaire Xavier Niel – is to acquire Vodafone Malta for €250 million.
The transcation is currently conditional on regulatory approval from the Malta Communications Authority, but once the deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020, Vodafone Malta will initially continue to operate under the Vodafone brand for a transitory period.
This is not the first time Monaco Telecomm announced the acquisition of a telecom operator beyond its shores.
This time last year, the Monaco-based operator became the sore shareholder of MTN Cyprus, the fastest-growing telecom operator in Cyprus, which had 400,000 customers and a turnover of €123 million back in 2017.
Vodafone Malta first started operations on the 25th of July 1990, back then under the name Telecell.
One of the most popular mobile phone network operators in the country for the last three decades, Vodafone Malta generated €82 million for the financial year ending 31st March; €32 million of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and €19 million of operating free cash flow.
Just over two years ago, it was announced that Vodafone Malta and Melita would merge into one combined company… a merger that was called off some seven months later when the two companies were unable to meet the conditons stipulated by the competition authority.
Here’s hoping that, before the expected completion date of Q1 2020, Vodafone Malta will finally tell the island what the feminine of gendus is.