It seems Vodafone and Virgin Media won’t be partnering up to take on BT and Sky after all.
Back in June, Vodafone confirmed that it was “in the early stages of discussions with Liberty Global regarding a possible exchange of selected assets between the two companies”. Liberty Global is the company that owns Virgin Media.
This was seen as a direct response to several other major consolidating deals from rival companies, including BT’s acquisition of EE, Hutchinson Whampoa’s (Three) planned acquisition of O2, and Sky’s own cosy deal with O2. Such deals threatened to leave both Vodafone’s and Virgin Media’s respective offerings looking a little one-note.
At the time, Vodafone did warn that “there is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor is there certainty with respect to which assets will ultimately be involved,” but a deal seemed inevitable – and indeed vital – for both companies.
However, Vodafone has just confirmed that talks between it and Virgin Media are off.
“Vodafone today announces that discussions with Liberty Global have terminated,” is all that the mobile network company had to say on the matter.
There’s been no reason for this collapse provided by either side, but earlier in the month Liberty Global chairman John Malone did signal that a deal would be unlikely.
“Conceptually there could be some real value created but realistically we haven’t been able to figure out a way to do that that’s mutually successful,” he told Bloomberg.
Malone also suggested that Vodafone would be unable to meet the price to purchase his company outright, despite the will on his part for the network giant to do so.