Vodafone eyes New Zealand Telstra unit buy

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Vodafone is in discussions to buy the New Zealand subsidiary of Telstra in a deal that analysts speculated could fetch $A340m (£215m).

Cautioning that "there is no certainty as to whether an agreement will be reached", Vodafone confirmed it had entered discussions with Australia's Telstra "to explore a potential acquisition of Telstra's New Zealand subsidiary, TelstraClear".

TelstraClear has suffered from a double-whammy of declining revenues and rising investment as the unit works to rebuild its infrastructure in Christchurch following the earthquake in 2011. However, analysts said the group would be attractive to Vodafone which is interested in acquiring high-speed 4G spectrum, required for high-speed mobile data services, which TelstraClear is expected to gain in the spectrum auction later this year.