Network providers Vodafone and CK Hutchison’s Three are in talks for a merger of their business in the UK. This will allow them to “gain the necessary scale to be able to accelerate the rollout of full 5G in the UK and expand broadband connectivity to rural communities and small businesses”. With a combined user base of 27mn customers, the merger would also make them the largest network provider in the UK, leapfrogging current leaders – BT’s EE and Virgin Media’s O2. According to Vodafone’s statement on 3 October, it would own 51% of the combined firm, with Hutchison owning the remaining 49%. The two companies aim to come to an agreement by the end of 2022.
Vodafone’s 7.875% 2030s gained 2.03 points to trade at 111.02, yielding 6%. CK Hutchison’s 2.5% 2030s were also up by 0.83 points, trading at 84.7 to yield 4.94%.