Vodafone shares have jumped after it admitted is considering a deal with Liberty Global

Emma Haslett
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The two companies are considering swapping assets (Source: Getty)

Shares in Vodafone finished the day higher after it emerged it was considering buying European assets owned by the owner of Virgin Media.

Shares in the mobile phone operator closed 2.4 per cent higher, at 219.5p, after it issued a statement saying it was considering buying "certain overlapping continental European assets" owned by Liberty Global.

However, it added that nothing has been agreed.

The FT reported this afternoon that the pair were considering swapping parts of their telecoms and cable businesses in European countries including the UK and Germany.

Liberty owns Virgin Media in the UK, as well as European cable giant UPC, plus fixed line operations across several European countries.

In 2015 it emerged the pair were in talks over a possible asset swap, although at the time they ruled out a merger.

At the time John Mallone, Liberty's chief executive, said a swap could create significant value for shareholders.

"There would be very substantial synergies if we could find a way to work together or combine the companies with respect to western Europe," he said.

In 2016, the pair merged their Dutch operations, creating a joint venture worth €3.5bn (3.1bn).

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