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U.K. Approves Virgin Media - O2 Merger

The UK's Competition & Markets Authority or CMA announced its final approval of the 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefonica to combine Virgin Media and O2.

The CMA cleared the transaction without remedies and now all regulatory conditions are met in alignment with the original terms and the transaction is now expected to close by June 1, 2021.

Last month, the CMA said it provisionally cleared the proposed merger of Virgin Media Inc. (VMED.L, VMED) and Virgin Mobile with O2.

Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile are owned by Liberty Global plc, while O2 is owned by Spanish telecom major Telefonica SA (TDE.L,TEF).

Liberty Global and Telefonica announced the joint venture last May, bringing together Virgin Media, the UK's fastest broadband network, and O2, mobile operator. The joint venture is expected to deliver substantial synergies valued at 6.2 billion pounds on a net present value basis after integration costs and will create a nationwide integrated communications provider with 11 billion pounds of revenue.

Liberty Global and Telefonica announced last month the appointment of Lutz Schüler as Chief Executive Officer and Patricia Cobian as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company upon completion of the transaction.

Schüler is currently Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media and Cobian is Chief Financial Officer at O2.

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