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Vodafone Hutchison Australia Secures $2.1 Billion from Shareholders

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Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has secured AU$2 billion (USD2.1 billion) in funding from its two parent shareholders as the company continues its turnaround from last year's series of network problems and customer outrage.

Hong Kong based Hutchison Whampoa and the UK's Vodafone Group approved a plan and request for funding put to the boards at a meeting last week by VHA's CEO, Bill Morrow.

The Australian Financial Review said that the funding commitment could come in the form of parent company backed commercial loans or equity - and will be used in part to repay AU$1.3 billion of debt that is due to mature in the middle of next year.

The mobile network  is also nearing the completion of its first phase of a new network roll out and readying itself for the next steps. Actions this year include: increased network transmission speed and capacity with an internet ready IP architecture; faster radio technology with our Vodafone 3G+ (DC-HSPA+) protocols; and, the replacement of nearly all radio equipment.

Speaking at a conference a couple of months ago, the CEO, Bill Morrow said that following the merger between Vodafone and Hutchison Whampoa's local companies in 2009, the enlarged company has lost money and the valuation of the company is now in negative figures.

He also warned them when taking on the role of CEO that he would need additional support to help turn the company around.

The declaration of support for the struggling subsidiary should put an end to persistent speculation that the owners might consider selling the company.

On the web: Australian Financial Review

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Tags: vodafone hutchison australia  Australia