BT will confirm takeover of EE or O2 this week (Wired UK)

BT Tower, London

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BT is on the verge of taking over
either EE or O2, with an
announcement expected later this week. The deal is likely to come
in at around £10 billion.

Over the weekend the Sunday Times reported that BT was busy “thrashing out the
details” of the takeover, with EE and O2 both still in the running.
Both companies are reportedly keen on a takeover and are willing to
accept a reduced offer including BT shares as part of the deal.

Cesar Alierta, chairman of O2’s parent company Telefonica,
arrived in London late last week in a bid to
finalise a deal. O2, which was originally known as BT Cellnet, was
sold by BT to Telefonica for £18bn in 2005.

BT executives are believed to be leaning towards a
deal to acquire O2, with sources speaking to the Financial Times saying the deal would be “simpler”.
EE, which is joint-owned by Orange and Deutsche Telekom, has more
customers and a larger networks. However, the deal is seen as more
complex due to the joint ownership.

The move by BT would see it become a major player in
the increasingly competitive “quad-play” market. Virgin Media, which already has its own
mobile phone offering that piggybacks on EE’s network, bundles
together landline, broadband, TV and mobile phone services in one
package. TalkTalk also has its own mobile
network, TalkTalk Mobile, which uses the Vodafone network.

BT’s acquisition of either EE or O2 would allow it
to offer similar bundles. None of the companies involved in the
talks have commented and a deal, whoever it is between, is expected
to be announced before Christmas.

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15 December 2014 | 3:27 pm – Source:


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