Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong conglomerate that owns UK mobile operator Three, is in talks to buy rival network O2, owned by Telefonica. According to the Sunday Times newspaper, Hutchison will pay up to £9 billion for O2.
Telefonica is said to be keen to leave the UK to help pay off debts, hiring investment bank UBS AG to explore exit strategies, and going so far as to consider floating O2’s shares for public sale. Hutchison are being helped by Moelis & Co to pursue possible deals within the UK.
All parties involved, including Moelis & Co and UBS AG, have declined to comment on the potential sale.