Vodafone Group completed the sale of its Netherlands consumer fixed business to T-Mobile, paving the way for its own merger with Liberty Global’s Ziggo.
Struck last month, the deal came after Vodafone and Liberty Global agreed to sell the unit (named Vodafone Thuis) in line with regulatory clearance for their own tie-up.
This was one of the major conditions set by the European Commission, due to the overlap in the fixed-line market.
In a brief statement, Vodafone said it now expects the merger with Ziggo to complete at the end of 2016.
The 50:50 joint venture will unify the country’s second largest mobile operator with its largest cable company, to provide a bigger converged threat to incumbent KPN.
For T-Mobile, the acquisition of the Dutch fixed line business gives it around 150,000 customers, of which 90 per cent have a subscription combining TV, fixed telephony and internet services.
The Deutsche Telekom owned company added it will rebrand the unit T-Mobile Thuis early next year.
“We are pleased and proud to be back on the fixed telecoms market and to be able to add an enthusiastic crowd of people to our organisation,” said Martin Knauer, interim CEO of T-Mobile Netherlands.
The move represents something of a turn around in strategy from Deutsche Telekom.
It had put the Dutch unit up for sale in 2015, before shelving the idea after its valuation, reportedly around the €5 billion mark, was not met.
Financial terms of the current deal were not revealed.