Vodafone and CK Hutchinson, owner of Three, have announced their long-awaited UK merger today.
The new group ‘MergeCo’, now the UK’s biggest mobile operator, was revealed this morning and is valued at £15bn, according to Sky News’ Mark Kleinman.
MergeCo is 51 per cent Vodafone owned and 49 per cent CK Hutchinson owned.
Vodafone chief exec, Margherita Della Valle, said the deal is “great for customers, great for the country and great for competition.”
“It’s transformative as it will create a best-in-class – indeed best in Europe – 5G network, offering customers a superior experience”, she said.
MergeCo plans to invest £11bn in its UK 5G network which could in turn generate £5bn per year by 2030 as well as bolstering the digital transformation of businesses across the nation.
The broadband will extend to almost the entire population with data speeds six times faster by 2034.
Last year the companies said the stakes would be achieved by adjusting the ownership of debt instead of via cash exchange.
Canning Fok, director at CK Hutchison, called the announcement a “major milestone” for the UK.
“This will unlock significant value for CK Hutchison and its shareholders, realise material synergies, reduce net financial indebtedness and further strengthen its financial profile,” he added.
Previously, “cumbersome” leadership was blamed for the slow deal.