Vodafone’s on-again, off-again dance with global cable operator, Liberty Global, on the possibility of combining/swapping some European assets has finally borne fruit in The Netherlands. The two companies today announced that they had agreed a 50-50 joint venture to create a “national unified communications provider in the Netherlands with complementary strengths across video, broadband, mobile and B2B services. Liberty Global’s Ziggo broadband network will be teamed with Vodafone’s mobile operation to create a fixed/mobile competitor in the Dutch market, the companies say.
It’s reckoned that the combined company is valued at approximately €3.5 billion after integration costs, with total synergies producing annual savings of €280 million.The transaction is expected to close around the end of 2016 and is obviously subject to regulatory approvals and consultations with the unions.
Vodafone says the transaction marks a continuation of Vodafone’s market-by-market convergence strategy.
According to Paolo Pescatore, Director, Multiplay and Media at CCS Insight, the JV creates a far stronger rival to KPN.
“This tie-up is extremely complementary and makes perfect sense. Vodafone has not made significant headway in the consumer fixed line market and Liberty Global is keen to add mobile services,” he said. “This [move] follows failed asset swap talks.. and it seems that both companies will now be looking to replicate the approach in other markets.”
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