A deal between Vodafone Group and Liberty Global for the cable company’s assets across several countries in mainland Europe could be concluded imminently for a potential fee of €16.5 billion including debt, Financial Times reported.
Sources told the newspaper talks between the multinationals were in the final stages and could be completed in as little as two weeks. However, Vodafone is currently in its quiet period ahead of the release of annual results on 15 May, so any formal announcement would be unlikely before then.
The companies kicked-off discussions for Liberty Global’s “overlapping assets” on the European mainland in February, but have revealed limited details on the proposals since.
Given the parameters outlined by Vodafone in its original notification, it looks likely the deal would comprise Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Liberty Global also has assets in Vodafone’s home market of the UK, and Republic of Ireland though these appear unlikely to be included.
News of talks led to a war of words between Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hoettges and Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao (pictured) at Mobile World Congress over perceived competition concerns.
An agreement between the two would be the culmination of years of speculation since the companies abandoned talks on a proposed asset swap deal in 2015. In the interim period the two formed joint venture VodafoneZiggo in the Netherlands, though when that deal was closed Liberty Global CEO Mark Fries dismissed speculation the venture would be replicated in other markets.