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Vodafone targets Three UK for merger

By Kani Talabani
25 January 2022

Vodafone Group Plc is in talks with Three UK’s owner CK Hutchison about a merger between the rival companies. 

With around 20 million customers, Berkshire-based Vodafone Group Plc was ranked as the fifth most valuable telecommunications brands in the world in 2016, operating in Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania. 

The British multinational telecommunications company recently approached the Hong Kong owners of Three UK with an offer to buy the company. 

At the same time, Vodafone has entered talks with Italian phone company Iliad to strike another deal to merge their businesses in Italy, making a £5 billion telecoms powerhouse. 

As one of the world’s largest wireless groups, Vodafone is also in danger of becoming a takeover target by CVC Capital Partners and an American telecoms group. 

Any of the proposed deals could take the spotlight off Vodafone and fend off investors looking to buy the £32 billion telecoms giant. 

Back in 2016, Three attempted to merge with O2; despite Ofcom’s backing it was rejected by the European Union. Rumours are circulating that Three will attempt to stage a takeover of one of their rivals; many believe they have their sights set on Vodafone.

On the other hand, a merger between Vodafone and Three would be scrutinised by communications regulator Ofcom. 

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