[WATCH] Monaco Telecom can’t say yet whether Vodafone takeover will lead to redundancies

Monaco Telecom is buying Vodafone Malta for €250 million and expects to close the deal by the end of March pending regulatory approval

Martin Peronnet, CEO Monaco Telecom
Martin Peronnet, CEO Monaco Telecom

Monaco Telecom is not yet in a position to say whether its takeover of Vodafone Malta will result in redundancies, the Monegasque company CEO said.

Martin Peronnet said Monaco Telecom was expecting to have regulatory clearance and complete the purchase of Vodafone Malta by the end of March.

He said Monaco Telecom will make use of Vodafone Malta’s employees and management but there would have to be “some adaptations”.

He was speaking to journalists at Vodafone Malta’s headquarters on Monday. Vodafone announced last month that it would be selling its shareholding in the Malta company to Monaco Telecom for €250 million.

Pressed to say whether there will be redundancies, Peronnet said it was too soon to define the organisational set up once the company takesover. He insisted, Monaco Telecom will not be bringing over its own staff.

“Vodafone Malta is part of an internationally listed company with certain obligations that we do not have as a private non-listed company, and so our focus for the time being is on how to untie the company… there is bound to be some adaptations and we will work with management to redesign the organisation,” Peronnet said.

MaltaToday is informed that Vodafone employees have so far been left in the dark on their future while company talks are underway.

Peronnet was non-committal on the future of the Vodafone Malta Foundation that carries out philanthropic work.

Monaco Telecom is 55% owned by French billionaire Xavier Niel, founder and largest shareholder of Paris-based Iliad, through his NJJ Group, with the rest of the shareholding in the hands of the government of Monaco.

The company is the primary telecommunications provider in Monaco and owns Epic, one of the largest communication companies in Cyprus.

Asked whether Vodafone customers, who today benefit from the company’s international reach, will experience any roll back in services, Peronnet said the intention was to bring technological innovation and improve things.

Monaco Telecom had more than 500 international roaming agreements, he added. “I don’t see any issue with this.”

On the company’s pricing policy, Peronnet said the company’s intention was to expand its footprint in Malta and so prices had to remain competitive.

Peronnet said Monaco Telecom will bring with it technological innovation, having been on the forefront in introducing 5G mobile network in Monaco, which he described as a highly demanding market.

The company is also strong in the fixed line sector, delivering broadband in the markets where it operates.

Asked whether this meant that Monaco Telecom will also branch out into television, Peronnet was non-committal.

“In all of our markets we try to bring mobile and fixed communication, which is essentially broadband. We will bring innovation to mobile and broadband, which allows the possibility of introducing other services. Whether this comes with television we will see in the future,” Peronnet said.

He insisted the company was in this for the long term, with Malta fitting the market profile of its investment strategy.

“We know small markets well and we understand the exigencies of high-demand customers. Malta is important for us… we are in this for the long haul,” he said.