“On 5 June 2015, Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”) confirmed that it was in the early stages of discussions with Liberty Global Plc (“Liberty Global”) regarding a possible exchange of selected assets between the two companies. Vodafone today announces that discussions with Liberty Global have terminated,” the telco said in a brief statement.
Ken Odeluga, a senior market analyst at www.cityindex.co.uk said the big question in the summer among Vodafone investors was ‘just how much does Liberty Global chairman John Malone want a deal’?
“That’s because it had been clear for months that valuation would very likely be a major sticking point. Throw in the fact that Malone favours a highly-levered equity model for his companies and his acquisitions, and the hurdle for any sort of deal being done – and certainly the asset swap which was mooted – was raised even higher.”
Last week Malone confirmed that Liberty has identified Germany, the UK and Netherlands as markets for expansion, certainly in the case of Germany any deal between the two groups would raise competition concerns. Indeed, Deutsche Telekom has said it would oppose a deal.