Vodafone-Hutchison Merger: Friday Announcement Expected

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The merger between the two groups would create the largest mobile telecommunications operator in the United Kingdom.

Vodafone and CK Hutchison are in the final phase of their planned UK business combination and a long-anticipated official announcement is expected as early as Friday or early next week, three sources told Reuters.

The structure of the deal is in line with what Vodafone disclosed in October, with the British group owning 51% of the newly formed group and Hutchison 49%, one of the sources said.

Including the debt, the operation could reach around 15 billion pounds (17.4 billion euros), according to analysts.

Hutchison declined to comment. Vodafone was not immediately available for comment.

In front of EE and O2

The combination would create the largest mobile telecommunications operator in the UK, with some 27 million customer connections, ahead of EE, owned by BT, and Virgin Media O2, owned by Telefonica and Liberty Global.

The deal is likely to come under scrutiny from competition authorities who have in the past opposed mergers that cut the number of network operators in major markets from four to three.

On the London Stock Exchange, Vodafone shares rose almost 3% at midday on Wednesday.

This article is originally published on agefi.fr

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