Vodafone has closed an agreement with CK Hutchison Group Telecom (CKHGT) to merge its telecommunications business units in the United Kingdom, which in the case of CKHGT are carried out through Three UK, as reported by the operator in a statement.

In this way, Vodafone will own 51% of the merged business and CKHGT the remaining 49%, an operation that is expected to close at the end of next year and that the CEO of Vodafone, Margherita Della Valle, has described as “excellent ” for the country, customers and competition.

The company has indicated that the new combined business will invest some 11,000 million pounds (around 13,000 million euros) in the next decade to create one of the “most advanced independent 5G networks” and in “total compatibility” with the objectives of the Government of the country.

Likewise, Vodafone has highlighted that the merged company will generate profits of around 5,000 million pounds (about 5,800 million euros) by 2030, in addition to creating jobs and supporting the digital transformation of the United Kingdom. .

In terms of competition, the operator has assured that with this merger “a third operator with scale” will be created, which, in his opinion, will balance the market by increasing competition for the other two dominant convergent operators in the country.

The company has also stressed that from day one Vodafone customers in the United Kingdom and Three UK will enjoy “a better network experience” with greater coverage and “reliability” without additional costs.

Thus, the operator has explained that the joint company’s 5G network will reach 99% of the population of the United Kingdom and will increase the average speed of data exchange by six in 2034.

“The combined business will offer fixed wireless access (mobile residential broadband) to 82% of homes by 2030,” added the British operator.

In relation to the operation, it has been carried out without a cash payment since both companies have contributed debt to complete the distribution of 51% for Vodafone and 49% for CKHGT.

“Vodafone and CKHGT have call and put options, respectively, which, if exercised, would result in Vodafone acquiring 49% of CKHGT’s shares,” the company added.

In addition, the operation is expected to generate synergies of around 700 million pounds (about 820 million euros) in costs and capital investments from the fifth year after the closing of the operation.

In relation to the direction of the new company, the current CEO of Vodafone in the United Kingdom, Ahmed Essam, will become the first sword of the new company, while the current financial director of Three UK, Darren Purkis, will assume that same position in the new combined business.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2024 and is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.