Ziggo passes on T-Mobile merger amid Vodafone rumours
Ziggo owner Liberty Global withdrew from the bidding process to merge with T-Mobile. At the same time, Vodafone released a press statement announcing a possible merge between Ziggo and Vodafone Nederland, the Telegraaf reports. Sources from within the market told the Telegraaf that Liberty Global is officially out of the race to merge with T-Mobile. Now that Liberty Global withdrew, investors Appollo and Warburg Pincus seem the most likely candidates to take over. Both parties already made a non-binding bid of around 2.5 billion euros plus an earn-out regulation on the Dutch Telecom company. Binding bids are due in mid-February. The fact that Ziggo and Vodafone Nederland are considering a joint venture in the Netherlands is much less surprising. Liberty Global previously showed interest in Vodafone, but the deal fell apart due to squabbling over price. Which is when Liberty shifted its interest to T-Mobile Nederland. The fact that its original target is back on the table, may be a big part of why Liberty Global withdrew from the T-Mobile bidding. According to the newspaper, it is not clear whether European supervisors will authorize this Vodafone-Ziggo joint venture. The European Commission previously blocked a merger of telecom companies in Denmark, saying it would reduce the competition.