May 8, 2018

Vodafone nears €18bn deal for chunk of Liberty Global

Vodafone, one of the world's largest telecoms operators, is close to buying large parts of John Malone's European cable group Liberty Global in a deal worth about €18bn that will expand the UK company's footprint across the continent. The transaction will see Mr Malone, the US billionaire who controls Liberty Global through voting rights, dispose of the German cable group Unitymedia and three smaller eastern European assets, said people briefed on the deal. Virgin Media, which is owned by Liberty Global in the UK, is not part of the deal, said those briefed about the negotiations. The sale of the German and eastern European networks owned by Liberty Global to Vodafone comes in lieu of a wider merger of the two companies that would have encompassed other markets including the UK, Belgium, Poland and Switzerland. Shares in Vodafone, which has a market value of £56bn, closed 1.4 per cent down at 207.5p. Liberty Global was 3.6 per cent lower at $31.74 in early afternoon New York trading, valuing the business at $25.7bn..

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