Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Vodafone closes in on Liberty Global's Eastern European assets

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Monday 23 April 18

Sources close to the companies say that Vodafone could renew its interest in acquiring around €16.5 billion of Liberty Global's Eastern European assets in the coming days

Vodafone's long mooted acquisition of Liberty Global's Eastern European assets could be about to materialise, according to reports in the press. Total Telecom originally reported the news of the proposed acquisition in February 2018…

Vodafone's long mooted acquisition of Liberty Global's Eastern European assets could be about to materialise, according to reports in the press.

Total Telecom originally reported the news of the proposed acquisition in February 2018. The deal has been on hold since then but sources close to the matter say that a new deal could be struck in the coming days.  

Reports in the Financial Times suggest that the new deal could be worth as much as €16.5 billion and could be completed in the next two weeks.

The deal would involve the sale of entire swathes of Liberty's Eastern European business divisions, in addition to a cabling unit based in Germany.  

The deal would create one of Europe's biggest telecoms conglomerates and, rather unsurprisingly, has met with serious opposition from other operators - most notably Deutsche Telekom, who are looking to consolidate their own grip on Europe's telecoms market.

“My perspective is this deal is very unlikely to get approval. I find it from a competitive perspective unacceptable,” said Deutsche Telekom's chief exec, Tim Hottges, of the original deal in February.

Hottges cited the prospective entities huge strength in both television and traditional telecoms services as the basis for his concern.  

Should the proposed acquisition go ahead, it would constitute the biggest M&A activity in Europe's telecommunications sector for over 5 years.

Vodafone Group's share price jumped from £2.095 to £2.13 per share over the weekend as markets responded positively to the renewed speculation.

 

 

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