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Commission Clears VECTOR To Acquire Unitednetworks

Issued 23 August 2002

Commission Clears VECTOR To Acquire Unitednetworks

The Commerce Commission has today cleared VECTOR Limited, and any of its interconnected corporate bodies, to acquire up to 100% of the shares in the capital of UnitedNetworks Limited (UNL) and some or all of the assets of the businesses carried on by UNL.

Commission Chair John Belgrave said the Commission is satisfied that the proposed acquisition would not have, nor would be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in New Zealand in the markets for distribution of electricity in various regions and wholesale data access in the Auckland CBD. The acquisition would expand VECTOR'S distribution line monopoly to the greater Auckland area as well as other areas of the North Island.

"The Commission concluded that the monopoly power currently held by UnitedNetworks would be transferred to VECTOR and therefore would not have any effect on competition," said Mr Belgrave.

The Commission will release a public version of its decision shortly. It will be posted onto the Commission's website, www.comcom.govt.nz/adjudication or will be available on request from Catherine Best, (04) 498-0953.

Background VECTOR Limited is 100% owned by the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust. It owns and operates the electricity network infrastructure in the Auckland region. The network distributes power to more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers located in the Auckland, Manukau and Papakura districts, including Waiheke Island. Its subsidiary Tangent Limited provides high speed data and broadband services to business customers in the Auckland CBD.

UNL is a publicly listed company with its major shareholders being UtiliCorp NZ Limited and UnitedNetwork Shareholders' Society. UNL is a network infrastructure company with business activities in electricity and gas distribution, and telecommunications.

Ends


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