Vodafone to boost converged services by acquiring UPC Romania
Vodafone Group Plc has agreed to acquire Liberty Global’s operations in Romania, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary, for a total enterprise value of €18.4 billion as part of a major investment in convergence across its European footprint. The combination of Vodafone Romania and UPC Romania will enable the customers of both companies to access a converged bundle of mobile, broadband, and TV, as well as enterprise services. The transaction will not include UPC Romania’s satellite TV business, Focus Sat.
The acquisition will mean that Vodafone will become the leading next generation network ("NGN") infrastructure owner in Europe, with 54 million cable/fibre homes ‘on-net’ and a total NGN reach of 110 million homes and businesses, including wholesale arrangements, accelerating its position as Europe’s leading fixed-line challenger and providing NGN and converged services to consumers and businesses.
Vodafone and Liberty Global’s businesses in the Romanian market are highly complementary. Vodafone is primarily active in mobile markets, whereas UPC Romania is principally a provider of cable broadband and television services.
Vodafone Romania is the second largest mobile provider, while UPC Romania is the second largest NGN operator in Romania, with 3.1 million homes passed (41% of total households).*
The combined company will be able to offer interactive TV services, broadband internet and fixed-line telephony services, as well as mobile, to Vodafone Romania’s 9.9 million mobile customers** and UPC Romania’s 2.1 million fixed revenue generating units***. The combined company will have a total communications revenue market share of 25%.
As in similar prior Vodafone transactions, management and employees of the acquired business will have the opportunity to play an integral role within the combined company, deploying their skills in cable, fixed line and TV services as well as a range of professional functions. Employees from UPC Romania will also benefit from a range of international career opportunities available across the Vodafone Group.
Murielle Lorilloux, CEO of Vodafone Romania, stated: “This transformative acquisition will create a significant supplier of converged telecoms services adding more competition within the Romanian market. This will benefit the customers of both companies and the Romanian economy because it will be a catalyst for further innovation in services and will provide greater scale to upgrade our fixed networks. Vodafone and Liberty’s businesses in Romania have in common a customer approach focused on the quality of service and are highly complementary, bringing together Vodafone’s mobile customers with UPC Romania’s broadband and TV customers.”
It is expected that the transaction will be subject to review and approval by the European Commission. Vodafone anticipates that completion will take place around the middle of calendar year 2019.
Vodafone Romania is a subsidiary of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies providing a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone has mobile operations in 25 countries, partners with mobile networks in 46 more, and fixed broadband operations in 18 markets. As of 31 December 2017, Vodafone Group had 529.1 million mobile customers and 19.3 million fixed broadband customers, including India and all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates
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