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Liberty looks to mobile in Ireland and Poland

February 24, 2021

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries has revealed during an analyst call that pursuing mobile deals in Europe was “high on our list” of priorities.

Liberty already has about one million cable and 120,000 mobile subscribers in Ireland through its Virgin Media unit. In Poland, its UPC Poland operation has about 3.3 million video, internet and telephone customers and 62,700 mobile subscribers through an MVNO agreement.

In the Irish market, Vodafone; Three, and Eir, owned by French billionaire Xavier Niel dominate. In Poland, potential targets include Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Play and Polkomtel.

Liberty Global’s agreement to merge its Virgin Media business with Telefónica’s O2 in a joint venture valued at about $38 billion is scheduled to close in the summer pending regulatory approval.

“The markets that we haven’t yet done anything in, Ireland and Poland for example, of course we’re going to continue to evaluate what the right long-term future for those markets is in terms of their strategic footprint and whether there’s a fixed mobile opportunity, so you should assume that that’s high on our list,” Fries said.

In 2020, Liberty Global said revenue declined 1.5 per cent to $12 billion and EBITDA fell 3.9 per cent to $4.9 billion. In the UK and Ireland, where broadband customers increased by 100,000 for the year, revenue was flat at about $6.6 billion.

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