Vodafone has rejected Iliad's proposals for a merger in Italy.

Both telcos confirmed this week that the proposal will not go ahead, with Vodafone instead interested in pursuing other deals in the market.

Vodafone Italy
– Getty Images

A 50-50 proposal had been put forward by Iliad Group, which is owned by French tycoon Xavier Niel, back in December.

The offer valued Vodafone Italia at €10.45 billion ($11.32bn).

"We are no longer in talks with Iliad, but our discussions with others continue," said a Vodafone spokesperson.

One of those potential deals could be with Swisscom, which has previously been reported as interested in a merger with Vodafone.

A deal would see Swisscom combine Vodafone with its Italian subsidiary, mobile operator Fastweb, which has an estimated 3.4 million mobile customers in Italy, while Vodafone has closer to 20 million.

Iliad had revived merger talks with Vodafone, after previously failing to do so with an €11.25 billion ($12.3bn) consortium bid for the unit in 2022.

Niel acquired a 2.5 percent stake in Vodafone Group through his investment vehicle Atlas Investissement in September 2022.

Vodafone has shown a desire to consolidate its business across several markets.

In the UK, the company is poised to merge with Three to become the UK's biggest telco in a £15bn ($19bn) deal, though this deal is being probed by antitrust regulator the Competition and Markets Authority, which opened a formal investigation last week.

Vodafone Group chief executive Margherita Della Valle has previously hinted at plans to "simplify the business."

In October the company confirmed it has agreed to sell its Spanish business to UK investment firm Zegona for $5.3 billion.

Vodafone has previously exited the Hungarian market, and finalized an exit from Ghana this year, selling a majority stake to Telecel Group.