Discussions between Vodafone Group and Liberty Global which could see the former acquire the latter’s German and eastern European cable operations are said to be nearing a conclusion, Reuters reports, citing three sources familiar with the matter. With one source claiming that the talks were in the ‘final phase’, it has been suggested that an agreement could be announced as early as next week, though both companies declined to comment on the matter. Analysts have previously indicated that a deal between the pair could be valued at anything between EUR16.5 billion and EUR20.7 billion (USD19.8 billion-USD24.8 billion).
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in February 2018 Vodafone Group confirmed that it was in ‘early stage discussions’ with Liberty Global regarding the potential acquisition of certain ‘overlapping continental European assets’ owned by the latter; the two groups both have footprints in Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Vodafone and Liberty had previously discussed a potential tie-up in 2015 but those talks collapsed after the parties failed to agree on valuations for certain assets. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, however, the two groups have since successfully merged their Netherlands subsidiaries to create a 50:50 joint venture VodafoneZiggo, which utilises both the Ziggo and Vodafone brands.