Another billionaire is on the move in Europe, adding territory to his empire and helping consolidate the wireless market further.
Hutchison Whampoa, which is of course led by Hong Kong’s Li Ka-Shing, has followed through on the not-so-secret rumors and made a bid worth some $15 billion for O2, Telefonica’s UK wireless division.
If successful, Hutchison would be combining O2 with its existing UK wireless business, Three, which is the country’s #4 provider.
The deal would vault Hutchison/Three/O2 to the largest wireless operator in the UK with a market share of over 40%. EE (which BT is now bidding for) would hold about a third, and Vodafone would make up most of the rest.
Telefonica has been looking to monetize O2 for some time now, as it seeks to retrench and refocus its businesses while improving its balance sheet. The $15 billion offer from Hutchison consists of some $13.9 billion in cash plus another $1.5 billion or so in deferred interest payments.
This article was authored by Rob Powell and was originally posted on Telecomramblings.com
Rob Powell is founder & editor of Telecom Ramblings, which was set up in 2008. The website is dedicated to discussing trends and developments in the telecom industry.