Australian fixed-line operator TPG Telecom confirmed in a stock market filing it is exploring a merger with Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA).

The statement issued to the Australia Securities Exchange’s website today (22 August) noted “there is no certainty any transaction will eventuate or what the terms of a transaction would be”. However, any tie-up would be a “merger of equals”, TPG Telecom said.

Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia), which holds a 50 per cent stake in VHA, also issued a statement saying it is aware TPG Telecom and VHA have been in discussions regarding a potential merger.

The value of the proposed merger is AUD10 billion ($7.3 billion), The Sydney Morning Herald said.

TPG Telecom is building a mobile network across Australia after acquiring spectrum in December 2017 and is expected to launch low-cost services soon. It will enter the market as the fourth major player, along with a few MVNOs.

In May it said initial coverage will include central business districts and surrounding suburbs in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane.

VHA held an 18 per cent share of Australia’s connections (excluding cellular IoT) at end-Q2, trailing market leader Telstra (50 per cent) and Singtel-owned Optus (31.5 per cent), data from GSMA Intelligence showed.

In December 2016, TPG Telecom also won a fourth mobile licence in Singapore in a spectrum auction open only to new entrants.