Vodafone plays down chance of Liberty deal

Wed Dec 3, 2014 1:31pm EST
 
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LONDON Dec 3 (Reuters) - Vodafone has met with analysts and investors this week to calm fears it could make a multi-billion dollar takeover bid for Europe's biggest cable company Liberty Global, according to people present.

Shares in Vodafone fell on Monday after people familiar with the situation said the world's second-biggest mobile operator was considering its options in Britain, which could include an acquisition of Liberty.

Redburn analyst Nick Delfas, who attended a presentation from Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao earlier this week, said in a note he thought it would be too hard for the two sides to agree financial terms.

"Vodafone is highly rational about M&A and does not need to do anything," Delfas said. "We don't think they would look at Sky or TalkTalk either."

He also noted that Colao had said he may not be interested in some of the assets owned by Liberty.

Vodafone has been considering its options after broadband leader BT Group revealed it was in parallel talks to buy either EE or Telefonica's 02. Vodafone has also been discussing its options to help launch its own consumer broadband offering in Britain.

Shares in Liberty were down 1.5 percent at 1817 GMT.

Vodafone declined to comment. (Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Mark Potter)