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Is TPG about to win its Vodafone merger case?

The TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) share price should be on watch this month because the telco may be about to win the Vodafone merger case.

We already knew that the appeal decision against the ACCC’s block was due by February 2020, but there has been an interesting move by Vodafone Australia according to reporting by the Australian Financial Review.

Two of Vodafone Australia’s leadership team have stepped down just before the ruling is expected. Chief Commercial Officer Ben McIntosh and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Millroy will both leave this month.

The AFR understands the timing of their departure was not a coincidence and will “clear the decks” for a merger with TPG in the event that the judge rules in favour of the merger.

Assuming the merger goes ahead, it would mean that TPG’s Chief Operating Officer Craig Levy and Head of Networks David Hanly would take the roles in the joint business.

It seems like an odd move for two of Vodafone’s most important operational people to leave the business just before the ruling decision unless Vodafone was quite confident that the merger was in-fact going to go ahead.

Even including the coronavirus-related fall today, the TPG share price is up 5% over the past month.

If the merger goes ahead then TPG shareholders are probably going to receive bigger dividends and benefit from very useful synergies. I’m not looking to buy TPG shares on a bet with which way the decision will go, but it could be more likely after Vodafone Australia’s move.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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