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Liberty Global says Vodafone joint venture is not a deal blueprint
January 18, 2017 / 4:18 PM / 7 months ago

Liberty Global says Vodafone joint venture is not a deal blueprint

A man walks past Vodafone Egypt Telecommunications Co in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt October 18, 2016.Amr Abdallah Dalsh

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - International cable TV group Liberty Global's (LBTYA.O) joint venture with Vodafone (VOD.L) in the Netherlands has started well but is not a blueprint for deals in other European markets where both are present, its CEO said on Wednesday.

Liberty and Vodafone agreed to join forces in the Netherlands in February, soon after talks on a European asset swap deal were abandoned.

Analysts, however, have said that a wider tie-up still makes sense as the fixed and mobile markets converge to supply customers with a bundle of pay TV, broadband and fixed and mobile telecoms services.

"I don't see us doing those types of structural transactions in other markets," Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, though he did not rule out doing anything else with the mobile operator.

Fries said there was a match between the size of the assets and the companies' market positions in the Netherlands that wasn't present in other markets, and there were few other strategic options in the country.

"It's only been three weeks, but I will tell you we're encouraged," Fries said of the Dutch joint venture.

"We will immediately start looking at products and services that are quad play in nature and we have a management team that is the best of both."

Quad play products combine pay TV, broadband and fixed and mobile telecoms.

Reporting by Martinne Geller; Writing by Paul Sandle; Editing by David Goodman

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