Vodafone and Liberty Global have confirmed an agreement to combine their respective operations in the Netherlands. Vodafone will pay Liberty Global EUR1 billion (USD1.1 billion) to merge Dutch mobile operator Vodafone Netherlands with the cable group’s local subsidiary, Ziggo (formerly UPC). The 50:50 joint venture will serve over 15 million revenue generating units (RGUs), the firms say, with ‘complementary strengths across video, broadband, mobile and B2B services’. The transaction is expected to close around the end of 2016 and is subject to regulatory approvals. The partners expect cost and capex synergies with run rate savings of EUR280 million on an annual basis by the fifth full year post closing, equivalent to a net present value of approximately EUR2.5 billion after integration costs.
Vodafone Group Chief Executive, Vittorio Colao, said: ‘The combination of Vodafone’s leading mobile business with Ziggo’s successful broadband and TV business creates a strong and competitive integrated communications player, which will invest in digital infrastructure, entertainment services and productivity applications for Dutch consumer, business and public sector customers. Together we will be a stronger competitor in the Netherlands, benefiting customers of both companies and the market as a whole.’