Telco’s Maltese arm agrees €153 million merger with cableco Melita.

Vodafone’s strategy of augmenting its mobile operations with fixed broadband and TV services reached another milestone on Wednesday, when its Maltese arm agreed to merge with local cableco Melita.

The transaction will see Vodafone Malta take a 49% stake in the combined company, while Melita will own the remaining 51%. When the deal closes, Vodafone will receive €120 million in cash, and Melita will receive €33 million. The deal values Vodafone Malta at €208 million, and Melita at €298 million.

The merged entity will offer mobile, fixed broadband and TV services under the Vodafone brand.

"In a market where demand for converged services is accelerating rapidly, the combined company will be in a stronger position to compete with the fully integrated incumbent, Go, ensuring sustainable consumer choice over the long term," Vodafone said in a statement.

Wednesday’s deal is in line with Vodafone’s over-arching strategy of becoming an integrated provider of fixed, mobile and TV services in mature markets.

This strategy has seen it acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide in the U.K., Kabel Deutschland in Germany, and Ono in Spain. It has also formed joint ventures in the Netherlands with Liberty Global’s Ziggo, and now in Malta with Melita.

Melita CEO Harald Rösch will lead the combined company; Vodafone Malta’s finance chief Caroline Farrugia will become its CFO. Vodafone Malta CEO Amanda Nelson will take on a new role in due course, Vodafone said.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second half of the year.