Vodafone has confirmed it is in talks with Liberty global regarding the acquisition of large parts of the European cable group. A deal could be worth as much as €14bn and significantly boost the group’s footprint across Europe.
“Vodafone confirms that it is in early-stage discussions with Liberty Global regarding the potential acquisition of certain overlapping continental European assets owned by Liberty Global,” Vodafone said in a statement.
Analysts at Olivetree Securities said assets based in Germany, apparently the focus of the talks, had an enterprise value of close to €14bn.
Vodafone shares rose as much as 4.4 per cent to 223.8p in London trading, before settling at 220p. Liberty Global climbed 3.2 per cent to $38.36 in midday Nasdaq trading in New York.
Vodafone added, “There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms, timing or form of any transaction.”
Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone, has repeatedly commented on a possible merger or acquisition of the two companies. He said last year they represented the only “serious” challenge in Europe to incumbent telecom operators such as Deutsche Telekom and BT Group.
Vodafone has said talks are related to it potentially buying “certain overlapping continental European assets”. This would exclude Virgin Media from any deal.
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