Representatives from Vodafone Group and 3 UK remained tight-lipped on media speculation claiming a union between the pair’s units could be announced in the coming days, following more than eight months of talks on a potential deal.
When contacted by Mobile World Live, both sides declined to comment on a report published by Reuters earlier today (7 June) claiming talks were in the final stages, with the long-awaited agreement potentially finalised and announced as soon as 9 June.
The speculation is the latest claiming a deal was imminent since being first announced in October 2022.
During that time, executives from both parties have maintained talks were ongoing without providing an indication of when they may be finalised.
In trading updates last month, 3 UK CEO Robert Finnegan repeated calls for changes in the make-up of the nation’s market, while group financial director of parent company CK Hutchison Holdings Frank John Sixt voiced optimism a deal would be done, though conceded it was proving difficult to get over the line.
On the Vodafone side, newly-minted group CEO Margherita Della Valle said on a recent earnings call a deal was progressing but is not there yet.
The terms originally under discussion would involve Vodafone taking a 51 per cent stake in the joint entity.
A merger would cause a shake-up of the market, with GSMA Intelligence connection figures for Q1 placing Vodafone as the third-largest player on 17.9 million and 3 fourth with 9 million.
Virgin Media O2 led the market by connections with 23.9 million followed by BT unit EE on 22.4 million.