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LIBERTY GLOBAL PLC

(LBTYA)
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UK Competition Watchdog Provisionally Clears Virgin-O2 Merger

04/14/2021 | 12:36am EDT

By Adria Calatayud

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday that it has provisionally cleared the proposed merger between the U.K. operations of John Malone's Liberty Global PLC and Telefonica SA.

The antitrust watchdog said the combination of Liberty Global's Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile with Telefonica's O2 was referred to a group of independent CMA panel members for an in-depth investigation. The inquiry group has provisionally concluded that the deal is unlikely to lead to any substantial lessening of competition in relation to the supply of wholesale services.

The CMA said its review focused on whether the merger could lead to reduced competition in wholesale services, as it wasn't concerned about overlapping retail services due to the small size of Virgin Mobile.

The regulator said there are several reasons why the deal is unlikely to lead to higher prices or a reduced quality of mobile services, including the fact that there are other players in the market offering the same leased-line services such as BT Group PLC's Openreach.

In November, the European Commission--which originally looked into the deal--referred a review of the proposed merger to the British authority.

The companies agreed to the deal, which is set to create a U.K. telecom giant worth nearly $39 billion, in May last year.

Write to Adria Calatayud at adria.calatayud@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-14-21 0236ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BT GROUP PLC -0.62% 136.7 Delayed Quote.3.36%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.21% 35677.02 Delayed Quote.16.33%
LIBERTY GLOBAL PLC 0.58% 29.7 Delayed Quote.22.63%
TELEFÓNICA, S.A. -0.50% 3.7715 Delayed Quote.16.23%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 10 543 M - -
Net income 2021 12 238 M - -
Net Debt 2021 13 331 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 1,35x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 16 548 M 16 548 M -
EV / Sales 2021 2,83x
EV / Sales 2022 3,79x
Nbr of Employees 23 000
Free-Float 92,7%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 22
Last Close Price 29,70 $
Average target price 38,75 $
Spread / Average Target 30,5%
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Managers and Directors
Michael Thomas Fries President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Charles Henry Rowland Bracken Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
John Carl Malone Chairman
Enrique Rodríguez Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP
Paul Alan Gould Independent Director
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