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Vodafone share price up as EU clears Liberty Global deal

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Vodafone’s (LON:VOD) share price is outperforming the market this Thursday afternoon as the European Commission okayed the group’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. The move comes after it recently emerged recently that the London-listed telco was set to secure EU antitrust approval having offered concessions.

As of 14:35 BST, Vodafone’s share price had added 1.25 percent to 127.54p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.44 percent lower at 7,502.21 points. The group’s shares have given up just under 30 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.3-percent drop in the Footsie.

Liberty Global deal approval

Vodafone announced in a statement today that the European Commission had cleared its acquisition of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. The FTSE 100 group said that following completion of the €18.4 billion transaction, it is set to become Europe’s leading converged operator, with 116.3 million mobile customers, 24.2 million broadband customers and 22.1 million TV customers across 13 European countries.

Following the EU approval, which is conditional on the implementation of the agreed remedy package, the transaction is now expected to complete by July 31, 2019. Reuters noted in its coverage of the news that Vodafone had to agree to give smaller rival Telefonica Deutschland access to its enlarged high-speed broadband network.

Analysts on FTSE 100 telecom

Deutsche Bank reaffirmed the blue-chip telco as a ‘buy’ last week, without specifying a target on the Vodafone share price, while Credit Suisse, which also rates the company as a ‘buy,’ set a valuation of 190p on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 telecom group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 185.06p.

Vodafone is scheduled to post its quarterly results on July 26.

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