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Vodafone in talks with Liberty Global on assets swap

Staff writer |
Vodafone said it was in talks with Liberty Global about an exchange of selected assets but was not discussing a full merger.

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"Vodafone is not in discussions with Liberty Global concerning a combination of the two companies," the company said in a statement responding to media speculation.

Liberty Global, which has operations in 12 European countries including Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, has a market capitalisation of $46 billion, while Vodafone's is 66 billion pounds ($102 billion).

Vodafone did not say which businesses were being discussed.

"There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor is there certainty with respect to which assets will ultimately be involved," the company said in its statement.

Liberty, which owns Unitymedia, Germany's second-biggest cable operator, has long coveted its bigger rival Kabel Deutschland, which Vodafone bought in 2013 for $10 billion.

Vodafone in the UK is facing the rapid convergence of fixed line and mobile markets following broadband giant BT's $19 billion deal to buy EE, the country's biggest mobile network, with the avowed aim of building "a single, seamless converged platform."

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