Schüler to take Virgin Media into £31bn tie-up with O2

Virgin Media and 02 have announced Lutz Schüler as chief executive of a newly merged company anticipated to become the UK’s largest mobile network. 

The merger, which will create a £31bn mobile network and broadband joint venture, was agreed in principle last year by O2 owner Telefonica and Virgin Media’s parent company Liberty Global.

Ahead of a decision on whether to approve the merger being made by the Competition Markets Authority in May, the two companies have made a series of appointments to “plan for [their] accelerated investment in telecoms infrastructure” which they claim will “bolster the UK’s post-pandemic recovery”.

Schüler will take on the CEO role at the new company having joined Virgin Media in 2018 as chief operating officer, before being appointed CEO in June 2019. He was also chief operating officer of O2 in Germany between 1998 and 2010.

O2’s current chief financial officer, Patricia Cobian, will become CFO of the combined entity, according to a company statement.

It is expected the merged company will bring together its respective fixed-line and mobile services.

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