Iliad Merger With Vodafone : €10.45 Billion Deal

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Iliad Merger With Vodafone
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk past a Vodafone store in London, Britain, June 14, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File photo

In a daring move announced on Monday, Iliad SA, led by French tycoon Xavier Niel, proposed a transformative merger between its Italian operations and Vodafone Italia SpA. This strategic partnership aims to establish a new entity in Italy, boasting innovation, scale, and financial prowess.

Iliad Merger With Vodafone  : The Financial Frontier

Valued at an impressive €10.45 billion ($11.4 billion), the proposed deal positions Vodafone Italia at the forefront. Iliad anticipates the new venture to yield €5.8 billion in revenues by March 2024, signaling a significant shift in Italy’s telecom industry landscape.

Bold Leadership Speaks

Thomas Reynaud, CEO of Iliad, expressed confidence in the venture, stating, “We believe that the profiles and complementary expertise of Iliad and Vodafone in Italy would allow us to build a strong operator with the ability and financial strength to invest for the long term.”

Shaping Italy’s Digital Future

The proposed merger is more than a financial move; it is a catalyst for Italy’s digital transformation and the swift implementation of 5G technology. Iliad envisions the new company as a pioneer in addressing customer needs and revolutionizing the Italian telecom market.

The Blueprint: Stake Distribution

According to Iliad’s proposal, Vodafone would commandeer 50% of the shares in the new company, backed by a €6.5 million cash infusion and a €2 billion shareholder loan. Meanwhile, Iliad Italia would hold the remaining 50%, supported by a €500 million cash payment and €2 billion in shareholder loans.

Future Opportunities: Iliad’s Option

Iliad secures an intriguing option under the proposed transaction, allowing it to acquire a 10% block of Vodafone’s shares in the new entity every year—a strategic move that speaks volumes about the long-term vision.

Market Analyst’s Perspective

Susannah Streeter, Head of Money and Markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, weighed in on the development, emphasizing that Vodafone’s decision to explore options for its Italian business is a part of its broader strategy to offload struggling divisions.

Iliad Merger With Vodafone  : Stock Market Reaction

Shares in Vodafone Group PLC experienced a surge, trading at 68.76 pence at midday on Monday—a remarkable 6.24% increase from Friday’s closing at 64.72 pence.

History Revisited: Iliad’s Earlier Bid

This isn’t Iliad’s first attempt at an alliance with Vodafone. In 2022, a €11 billion bid for Vodafone’s Italian business fell short. The current proposal, however, appears to be the next chapter in the ongoing saga.

Vodafone’s Silence

As of now, Vodafone has not responded to requests for comment on this groundbreaking proposal.

Iliad Merger With Vodafone : The Road Ahead

With the stage set for an unprecedented merger, Iliad’s audacious move promises to reshape Italy’s telecom landscape and create a formidable force in the industry.