A high-stakes tie-up between Vodafone Group and Liberty Global is back on the table after the companies entered into talks about a UK merger, reported The Register.
Citing multiple sources, the report said talks are taking place at Vodafone’s HQ in Newbury, with only high-level executives from both firms allowed access. The companies first entered into talks in 2015 over a wider merger of their respective European assets, before negotiations broke down a few months later over a valuation issue.
However, the relationship was revived after the pair completed a merger in the Netherlands in January, forming a $3.7 billion joint venture in the country.
According to The Register, a similar deal could be struck in the UK, or Vodafone may even decide to sell its UK operations to Liberty Global. Vodafone could then potentially take over Liberty Global’s German arm.
News of the negotiations comes less than month after Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said an asset swap between the two companies was “an attractive combination and an interesting project” to challenge rivals in Europe, but added there were no active talks taking place.
A report in the Financial Times, released yesterday and also citing company sources, said the situation had not changed since Colao’s comments last month.
The reports come a matter of days after details emerged of a potential attempt by Telefonica to lure Liberty Global into a deal covering O2 UK.