The $840 million sale of TelstraClear to Vodafone includes a non-compete clause, Telstra chairman Gordon Ballantyne told a media conference in Auckland this morning.
Mr Ballantyne declined to detail the clause, or how long it would last.
But it would appear to dramatically lessen - if not totally eleminate - the possibility that TelstraClear was clearing the decks before making a run at Telecom. Equity analysts have already all but dismissed
Vodafone NZ CEO Russell Stanners will lead the combined company.
TelstraClear had no comment on what role, if any its CEO Allan Freeth would play in the combined company - other than to confirm that Dr Freeth will stay on in his current role while regulators access the deal - a process that is expected to take months.
Mr Stanners confirmed the popular analyst theory that the deal would give his company a boost in the lucrative corporate market - where TelstraClear is relatively strong, but Vodafone has a lower profile.
He said there would be job losses in over-lapping back-office roles, but did not quantify numbers. Vodafone and TelstraClear each have around 1300 staff.
TelstraClear has outsourced call centre roles over the past couple of years, while Vodafone has gone in the opposite direction, bringing help desk roles back to NZ last year
. Last month, Vodafone said it would bring 100 technical roles, currently handled in India, back to NZ.
Telecom shares [NZX:TEL
] were up 1.19% to $2.55 in late afternoon trading.