Written by: James Pearce
Posted on: 15 December 2014. Tags: BT, Deutsche Telekom, EE, Mobile News, O2, Orange, Telefonica
Exclusivity will last for several weeks as BT performs due diligence on cash/equity takeover
BT has entered exclusive talks to acquire EE after the telecoms provider chose the UK’s largest mobile operator over O2, it has confirmed.
EE’s owners Deutsche Telekom and Orange had confirmed talks with BT had taken place for a 12.5 billion takeover, which will also see the German company gain a 12 per cent stake in BT, while Orange will get a 4 per cent stake.
BT had also been in discussions with Telefonica to purchase O2, but these talks will cease while BT is in exclusive talks with EE.
The talks will last several weeks and will allow BT to perform due diligence on the potential takeover, it said in a statement.
A BT statement said: “The proposed acquisition would enable BT to accelerate its existing mobility strategy whereby customers will benefit from innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband, wi-fi and 4G. BT would own the UK’s most advanced 4G network, giving it greater control in terms of future investment and product innovation.
“While continuing these exclusive discussions, BT will progress its own plans for providing enhanced fixed-mobile converged services for businesses and consumers, in line with previous announcements. It remains confident of delivering on these plans should a transaction not take place.”
According to people close to the matter, Telefonica could try to disrupt the potential takeover by making a late counter offer to sell O2 for a reduced price.
A potential takeover of EE could also face more regulatory scrutiny as it would see the UK’s largest mobile operator (24.5 million subscribers) combine with the largest fixed-line provider.