The proposed takeover of Internet service provider iiNet by rival TPG has led to speculation about TPG’s further ambitions in the market.
The takeover will create a company that would be a new number two in the wireline broadband market. But without a presence in the wireless space, particularly in mobiles, the company’s future expansion opportunities will be limited.
That is why some industry insiders are tipping a TPG bid for Vodafone, the number three mobiles player in Australia and a company which has struggled to maintain a secure foothold in the market almost from the time it began operations here back in 1992.
Vodafone’s share of mobile subscribers has hovered around 20% for several years and there has long been speculation about whether it had a future in Australia. And according to iiNet founder, Michael Malone, it is not too big a fish for TPG to swallow.
“I’ve seen some commentators suggest it’s worth about a $1 billion plus the assumption of [its] debt,” Malone recently told an industry conference.
“That’s something TPG could manage, and [TPG CEO] David Teoh is brave enough to actually attempt something like that.”