Last Updated: October 03, 2022, 17:07 IST
Vodafone on Monday said it was in talks with CK Hutchison about merging their businesses in Britain, to create a market leading operator that could accelerate the roll-out of 5G and expand broadband connectivity.
Vodafone said it would own 51 per cent and Hutchison 49 per cent under the deal being discussed, with the shares achieved through differential leverage contribution and no cash consideration paid.
Vodafone and Hutchison were hopeful of striking a deal by the end of the year, according to an earlier Sky report.
Combining Vodafone UK and Hutchison’s Three, the third and fourth largest networks respectively, would create a business with 27 million customers – making it larger than current leaders BT’s EE and Virgin Media O2.
Shares in Vodafone were up 2.4 per cent at 104 pence by 1035 GMT, compared with a 0.5 per cent fall in the FTSE 100.
Vodafone Chief Executive Nick Read had said in February the company was pursuing mergers with rivals in multiple European markets to improve returns where players barely cover the costs of the capital required to invest in networks.
Regulators have previously opposed deals that reduce the number of networks in major markets from four to three but there have been signals that position had changed from regulators who had realised the value of network investment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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