Liberty Global and Telefónica are merging their operating businesses in the UK to form a 50:50 joint venture. The combination of Virgin Media and O2 will create a nationwide integrated communications provider with over 46 million video, broadband and mobile connections and £11 billion of revenue.
Greater detail about each company is available below and via their respective websites.
Telefónica is one of the world’s leading telecommunications services providers. The company offers fixed and mobile connectivity as well as a wide range of digital services for residential and business customers.
Telefónica runs operations in 14 countries and has over 344 million customers, including almost 130 million mobile contract customers, over 14 million fibre and cable accesses and more than 8.4 million pay TV customers.
Telefónica is the company’s institutional brand and it is also used when engaging with multinational customers and employees. Telefónica primary commercial brands are Movistar in Spain and Latin America, Vivo in Brazil, and O2 in Germany and the UK.
With an annual growth of 26% at the end of 2019, Cybersecurity, Cloud, IoT and Big Data have become highly demanded digital services with a strong potential for growth. Telefónica’s goal is to become the trusted partner of choice when it comes to business customers, helping them realize their digital transformation and reach new levels of efficiency.
Telefónica’s mission is to make our world more human, by connecting people’s lives. The company advocates humanizing technology by putting it at the service of people. Telefónica is pursuing a strategy based in growth, efficiency and trust as the three pillars to achieve its mission and sustainably meet the needs of all stakeholders in the long-term.
In 2019, Telefónica’s consolidated revenues totalled 48,422 million euros. Telefónica is a 100% listed company and its shares are traded on the Spanish Stock Market and in New York and Lima.
Born in Madrid in 1963 Mr. Álvarez-Pallete has a degree in Economics from the Complutense University of Madrid. He also studied Economics at the Université Libre of Brussels (Belgium), holds an International Management Programme (IMP) from IPADE Business School and an Advance Research Degree from the Complutense University of Madrid.
In February 1999 he joined the Telefónica Group as Chief Financial Officer of Telefónica Internacional S.A.U., and in September of the same year he became Chief Financial Officer of Telefónica S.A. In July 2002, he was appointed Executive Chairman of Telefónica Internacional S.A.; in July 2006, General Manager of Telefónica Latinoamérica, and in March 2009 Chairman of Telefónica Latinoamérica. In September 2011 he was named Executive Chairman of Telefónica Europe. And in September 2012 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Telefónica S.A.
Since April 8th 2016 he is Chairman & CEO of Telefónica S.A. and Member of the Board of Telefónica S.A., position he holds since July 2006.
He began his professional career at Arthur Young Auditors in 1987, before joining Benito & Monjardín/Kidder, Peabody & Co. in 1988. After this, in 1995, he joined the Compañía Valenciana de Cementos Portland (CEMEX) as head of the Investor Relations and Analysis Department. In 1996, he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in Spain, and in 1998 to Chief Administration and Finance Officer of the CEMEX Group Indonesia and to member of the Board of CEMEX Asia Ltd.
In 2001 he was granted the best “CFO Europe Best Practices” award in the Mergers & Acquisitions category for the year 2000. In 2003, he was appointed Member of Merit at the Ibero-American Forum of the Fundación Carlos III and in 2007 he was awarded with the Gold Master of the Executive Management Forum. In 2011 he received the Personality of the Year in Economics Award, given by the Spanish newspaper “El Economista”. In 2013 he received the Excellence 2013 Award, for his contribution to the development of telecommunications, granted by the Spanish Telecommunication Engineers Association. In 2014, Mr. Álvarez-Pallete received the Medalla Sorolla by The Hispanic Society of America and was named Innovative Corporate Leader of the Year by Latin Trade Magazine. In 2016 he was named “Best CEO” in Spain by Forbes Magazine. In 2019 he received the “Manager of the Year” award in the Large Corporations category granted by the Asociación Española de Directivos, and was chosen “Business Leader of the Year” by the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce.
Liberty Global is one of the world’s leading converged video, broadband and communication companies, with operations in six European countries under the consumer brands Virgin Media, Telenet and UPC.
We invest in the infrastructure and platforms that empower our customers to make the most of the digital revolution.
Our substantial scale and commitment to innovation enable us to develop market-leading products delivered through next-generation, fibre-based networks that connects 11 million customers subscribing to 25 million TV, broadband internet and telephone services. We also serve 6 million mobile subscribers and offer WiFi service through millions of access points across our footprint.
In addition, Liberty Global owns 50% of VodafoneZiggo, a joint venture in the Netherlands with 4 million customers subscribing to 10 million fixed-line and 5 million mobile services, as well as significant content investments in ITV, All3Media, ITI Neovision, LionsGate, Formula E racing series and several regional sports networks.
We enhance and expand by investing wisely and ambitiously. We buy as well as build. Our scale provides synergies to ensure that every penny, person and project is focussed on bringing the best connectivity and entertainment to our customers.
And as we deliver for our customers, we build value for our shareholders and our employees, rewarding those who commit to us over the longer term.
We invest, innovate and empower with purpose. Investing in the technology, talent and territories with the most potential.
We innovate to create a positive impact across every element of our business and ultimately, society. We empower our customers to connect to the entertainment, experiences and people they love.
And we’re only just getting started.
Mike Fries is Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Liberty Global, the largest international TV and broadband company in the world, with operations in 6 European countries and 25 million broadband, video, voice and mobile subscribers.
Liberty Global is recognized as a global leader in entertainment, media and communications, spearheading gigabit broadband speeds, actively integrating traditional video and OTT platforms, and converging fixed and wireless services with quad play bundles. Annualized full company revenue is $11.5 billion. The Company also owns 50% of VodafoneZiggo, a Dutch joint venture, which has 10 million fixed line subscribers and 5 million mobile subscribers. Fries was a founding member of the management team that launched the Company’s international expansion 29 years ago, and has served in various strategic and operating capacities since that time. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Company in 2005 and serves as a member of its two-person Executive Committee along with Chairman, Dr. John C. Malone.
Fries is also Executive Chairman of Liberty Latin America (LLA), a leading broadband and mobile operator in Chile, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and other parts of Latin America. LLA serves 11 million broadband, video, voice and mobile subscribers across 21 consumer markets and generates $3.9 billion of annualized revenue. LLA was split off from Liberty Global to focus purely on organic and strategic growth in the region. Fries also serves on the corporate boards of Grupo Televisa and Lionsgate Entertainment.
Fries is an engaged industry and community leader. He also serves as board member for Cable Labs and trustee for The Paley Center for Media, and he chairs the board for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Biennial of the Americas. He is a Digital Communications Governor and Steering Committee Member of the World Economic Forum and a member of Young Presidents’ Organization. Recognition for his achievements includes EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Media, Entertainment and Communications, Industry Leader of the Year by Digital TV Europe, and inductions into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and the Cable Hall of Fame, which recognizes pioneers and leaders in the cable industry. Mike holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University, where he serves on the Board of Trustees, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University, where he is a member of the Board of Overseers for the Business School.
O2 is a mobile network operator and the principal commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited, which is part of the global telecommunications group Telefónica S.A, headquartered in Spain and operating in Europe, and North, Central and South America.
Our purpose is to make every day better through personal experiences that count. Everything we do is inspired by our company values – bold, open and trusted – along with our business principles, and a clear focus on putting our customers first.
Our customer-led, mobile-first strategy is all about delivering a standout customer experience and helping our customers get the most out of mobile connectivity.
We were awarded Best Network Coverage in 2020 by Uswitch, for the third year running. We run 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G services in the UK, with over 32 million connections to our network. And we operate our O2 Wifi service all across the country.
We’re the network of choice for mobile virtual network operators such as giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Lyca Mobile. We also manage a 50:50 joint venture with Tesco for Tesco Mobile.
We have around 6700 employees and over 450 retail stores. We sponsor England Rugby, The O2 and 19 O2 Academy music venues across the UK.
Our sustainability approach centres around doing the right thing for our customers, people and society. As a responsible organisation, we continue to help to reduce our (and our customers’) impact on the environment, as we increase our positive social impact.
We also create work experience opportunities for 16-24 year olds through our GoThinkBig platform. O2 Recycle lets customers reduce their impact on the environment by recycling their old devices. And our partnership with the NSPCC helps parents to keep their children safe online.
We’re the only mobile operator in the 2018 Social Mobility Employer Index and were named as one of the best places to work in the 2018 Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Award.
Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services in the UK: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.
Our gigabit-ready network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses. We’re expanding this through continued investment in our Project Lightning programme, which has seen our network footprint expand to an additional 2.2 million premises so far to reach 15 million UK premises overall. We are also investing to bring next-generation gigabit speeds to our entire broadband network by the end of 2021 – a pace quicker than anybody else in the market.
Our interactive TV service brings live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games to customers through a set-top box, as well as on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.
Virgin Mobile launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and offers fantastic value and innovative services with 4G connectivity. We are also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK.
Through Virgin Media Business we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering a range of connectivity and tailor-made services.
Virgin Media employs around 12,000 people directly in the UK and is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company.