Telefonica and Liberty Global Finalize UK Merger

The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) gave final approval of the joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefonica to combine Virgin Media and O2. The CMA cleared the transaction without remedies and now all regulatory conditions are met in alignment with the original terms and the transaction is now expected to close by June 1, 2021.

Two companies announced the joint venture last May, bringing together Virgin Media broadband network, and mobile operator O2. The combination will create a stronger fixed and mobile competitor in the UK market, supporting the expansion of Virgin Media’s giga-ready network and O2’s 5G mobile deployment for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the public sector.

The joint venture is expected to deliver substantial synergies valued at £6.2 billion on a net present value basis after integration costs and will create a nationwide integrated communications provider with £11 billion of revenue. Liberty Global and Telefonica announced last month the appointment of Lutz Schüler as CEO and Patricia Cobian as CFO of the combined company upon completion of the transaction. Schüler is currently CEO of Virgin Media and Cobian is CFO at O2.

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