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Liberty Global and Telefonica agree £31.4bn deal to merge UK groups

Christian Fernsby |
Liberty Global and Telefónica have struck a deal to combine their British operations O2 and Virgin Media in a £31.4bn agreement.

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Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will have equal ownership of O2 and Virgin Media.

The agreement values O2 at £12.7bn and Virgin Media at £18.7bn, including their respective debts, the companies said in a statement on Thursday. 

The two are committed to invest £10bn in the UK over the next five years. The deal, which will create a business with £11bn in revenue and 46m customer accounts across the combined mobile, broadband and pay-TV bases, is anticipated to close towards the middle of 2021.

The parent companies expect to achieve £540m worth of synergies by merging the businesses, through a combination stripping out costs and moving Virgin Media’s existing 3m mobile customers from EE on to O2’s network. 

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