Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong-based owner of UK mobile network Three, has confirmed its purchase of rival network O2 from Spanish telecoms company Telefonica for £10.25 billion.
Hutchison has trumped both Sky and TalkTalk to complete the deal, which as agreed requires £9.25 billion up-front from Hutchison, with a further £1 billion deferred payment, making Three and O2 combined the biggest mobile operator in the UK, taking a 41% share of the market.
“The deal remains subject to satisfactory due diligence over O2 UK, agreement on terms, signing of definitive agreements, and obtaining required corporate and regulatory approvals,” a spokesperson for Hutchison Whampoa said.
Telefonica were desperate to sell O2 in order to pay off its existing debts, but managed to get £1 billion more for the company than early reports suggested.
Source: The Guardian