Vodafone shares slip after $2.4 billion Sky Network merger announcement

Indranil Mukherjee | AFP | Getty Images

Shares of communications giant Vodafone fell more than 2 percent Thursday after revealing the merger of its New Zealand unit with Sky Network Television.

The merger was valued at $2.4 billion, but Vodafone will become a 51 percent shareholder of the combined firm.

If the deal succeeds, the new company will be one of New Zealand's biggest listed companies with annual revenue of about $2.1 billion, the companies said.

"This is a significant and positive step in SKY's evolution as a premium entertainment company. We already enjoy an excellent partnership with Vodafone, bringing together our two highly complementary businesses is in the best interests of shareholders and customers," Sky CEO John Fellet said in a statement.

Vodafone's stock has advanced about 5 percent over the past three months.

VOD 3-month chart

— Reuters contributed to this report.