(Reuters) – Australia’s TPG Telecom Ltd <TPM.AX> has entered initial talks with Vodafone Group PLC’s <VOD.L> local venture to explore a potential takeover of the latter, the two companies said in separate statements on Wednesday.
The venture, Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd, is jointly owned by Vodafone and Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) <HTA.AX>, a unit of CK Hutchison Holdings <0001.HK>.
If the deal goes through, it would represent TPG’s latest effort to fend off competition from rivals such as Singapore Telecommunications’ <STEL.SI> Optus and local major Telstra Corp <TLS.AX>.
In 2015, TPG announced a deal to buy domestic rival internet services provider iiNet <IIN.AX> for A$1.4 billion ($1.02 billion) to boost its broadband business and expand its presence across Australia.
($1 = 1.3669 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)