Liberty Global plc (LBTYA) shares rise on Vodafone (VOD) Purchase Rumor
Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) is reportedly exploring a purchase of Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYA) (NASDAQ:LBTYB) (NASDAQ:LBTYK). The combined entity would be Europe’s largest phone, Internet and TV company.
Bloomberg sources the “people with knowledge of the matter” on the topic and indicates that The British phone company is holding internal deliberations and analyzing potential financial and regulatory hurdles. The company is said to be considering share based transaction.
The combination would create a juggernaut in Wireless and Broadband in Europe. The British firm is reportedly considering all options. In recent times, Vodafone and Liberty have been competing to acquire European Telecom assets and expand. In September 2014, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Cola indicated Liberty Global could be a good purchase at the right price.
Vodafone has an itchy trigger finger after selling it’s stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion earlier this year. The company used the proceeds to pay down debt and has 5.9 billion pounds of cash, as of September.
Smaller deal possible
Earlier this week, Liberty Global Co-CFO, Charles Bracken, made comments that regulators would not oppose a purchase of Liberty Global’s German Cable business. The deal would enable Vodafone to create a nationwide German cable giant through the merger of its subsidiary Kabel Deutschland with Liberty Global’s Unitymedia Kabel BW. Bracken speaking at a conference in Barcelona indicated that it would be up to the chairman of Liberty Global Plc, John Malone. Bracken also indicated that Liberty had a good thing going and that they could drive the business on and create value, but that ultimately it would be up to the Chairman.
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