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Vodafone Merger with Three Gets Government’s Conditional Nod

Analyst Team trader
Updated 10 May 2024

Shares in Vodafone Group PLC experienced an uplift on Friday following the UK government's conditional approval for its proposed merger with Three. The collaboration is set to alter the landscape of the UK mobile network industry significantly, reducing the number of key players from four to three.

Vodafone shares (LON.VOD) trades up 1.7% in price as markets responded positively to the news that also impact those at Three, owned by CK Hutchinson Holdings Ltd.

The proposed merger has not only buoyed Vodafone's shares but has also had a favourable impact on CK Hutchinson's stock (HKG: 0001) market performance. Its Hong Kong-listed shares climbed by a notable 3.91%, reflecting market optimism about the prospective merger's value addition to the company.

The conditions stipulated by the government for the merger to proceed include the establishment of a national security committee by the merged entity. This committee would presumably oversee and ensure that the combined operations of Vodafone and Three adhere to national security guidelines.

Both companies have expressed optimism about the merger, suggesting that this joint venture would intensify competition within the UK mobile sector and bring enhancements to the country's mobile network infrastructure. The parties assert that the merger is a strategic move to improve service quality and broaden their offerings to consumers.

Despite the government’s conditional approval, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently conducting a meticulous investigation into the proposed merger. This probe aims to assess the implications of the merger on market competition and consumer interests. As of now, Vodafone and Three have not put forward any remedies to address potential concerns that may stem from their consolidation.

Analysts have long been positive on the outlook of VOD.L, with the low bar price target in line with the current trading price, and the high of 146p a considerable way to the upside. Whilst these forecasts are in no way sure to realise, the basis of information from market analysts can give you some insights to use in your own share valuation models.

Investors and industry observers are now closely monitoring the ongoing CMA investigation, which will play a crucial role in determining whether or not the merger can proceed without any significant competition law roadblocks.

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The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.