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Vodafone gets bigger after deal approval

The European Commission has cleared Vodafone Group's €18.4bn acquisition of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to greatly boost its converged customer base.

Following completion of the deal, Vodafone says it will have 116.3m mobile customers, 24.2m broadband customers and 22.1m TV customers across 13 European countries. It said over half of group revenues will come from fixed and converged services.

“The company will be able to accelerate the delivery of the Gigabit society to over 100m people across the continent,” Vodafone said.

The transaction is expected to generate cost and capex synergies with a net present value of over €6bn after integration costs, and revenue synergies with an NPV exceeding €1.5bn from cross selling to the combined customer base. The acquisition is expected to be completed by 31 July 2019.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “With the European Commission’s approval of this transaction, Vodafone transforms into Europe’s largest fully-converged communications operator, accelerating innovation through our gigabit networks and bringing greater benefits to millions of new customers.”

In Germany, Vodafone says it will deliver gigabit mobile speeds to 20m people by 2021 and fixed gigabit connections to 25m households by 2022. As previously announced, Vodafone has entered into a wholesale cable agreement with Telefónica Deutschland to provide broadband services with download speeds of up to 300mbps.