Vodafone and Liberty Global complete deal

Vodafone has completed its €19 billion acquisition of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic.

Liberty will net approximately €10.1 billion in cash from the sale. The company said that the purchase price represented a multiple for all four businesses combined of 11.5 times adjusted segment operating cash flow, or 24.0 times operating free cash flow for 2017, the last full year before the deal was announced.

Speaking on Vodafone’s quarterly earnings call at the end of last week, the company’s CEO Nick Read said that the acquisition would make the telco “Europe’s largest owner of Gigabit next-generation network infrastructure” and “decisively shift the group’s mix in Europe to growing fixed and converged services, which will represent almost half of our consumer revenues going forwards”

In Germany, Vodafone will move ahead with plans to integrate Liberty Global’s Unitymedia, which will lose its name. The acquisition will make Vodafone a national player able to take on Deutsche Telekom in fixed and mobile coverage.

Vodafone is planning to kick off a major marketing campaign in the country at the beginning of September.

The company plans to provide Gigabit connectivity to 25 million homes – about two thirds of the country’s population – across Germany by 2022.

The completion leave Liberty Global a significantly smaller organisation, with assets in Switzerland, Poland and the UK, majority ownership of Belgium’s Telenet and a 50% share in Dutch JV VodafoneZiggo.

The sale of its Swiss operation to alternative telco Sunrise is currently being investigated by the Swiss competition authority.

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