Tuesday 6 December 2016

Talks between Liberty Global and Vodafone end without deal

Amy Thomson and Kristen Schweizer

Published 29/09/2015 | 02:30

Talks have taken place between Vodafone and Liberty Global
Talks have taken place between Vodafone and Liberty Global
John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media Corp

Vodafone has ended talks with UPC and TV3 owner Liberty Global a over a possible multi-country asset swap.

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The deal stalled on differences over the value of Liberty's Virgin Media unit in the UK and businesses including each company's operations in Germany, according to a person familiar with the matter.

If a deal had gone ahead Vodafone might have ended up controlling Liberty's Irish broadband and TV assets - creating a formible rival to Eir, the former Eircom.

Vodafone is also concerned about Liberty's growing wireless presence, the person said, asking not to be identified because talks were private. Vodafone, the world's second-largest mobile-phone company, announced the termination of discussions yesterday, almost four months after disclosing the talks.

A Liberty Global spokesman confirmed that the talks had ended. People familiar with the matter said earlier this year the companies were discussing a range of potential transactions including an asset swap, combining their western European businesses, or an outright merger.

Liberty Global and Vodafone together have more than $80bn in annual revenue and almost $130bn in combined market capitalisation. John Malone said in an interview this month that the companies weren't able to overcome a deadlock in the talks he described as a "tennis match" of ideas. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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