BT to buy mobile network operator EE for £12.5bn
The mobile network operator EE have been bought by telecoms group BT for £12.5bn.
This takeover will turn the telecoms giant into a ‘quad-player’, a company that offers fixed-line phones, broadband, mobile and TV. Existing EE shareholders Deutsche Telekom and Orange will sell 100% of their shares.
In BT’s latest press release they have announced details of the purchase as well as some of the finer details that highlight the transition. BT are stating that the combination of both themselves and EE will provide customers with ‘innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband with wi-fi and advanced mobile capabilities’.
This deal is subject to approval by shareholders and the Competition and Markets Authority, the deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the financial year ending March 2016.
BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson said, “The deal provides an attractive opportunity for BT to generate considerable value for shareholders, with significant operating and capital investment efficiencies supported by our tried and tested cost transformation activities. The enlarged BT will offer significant opportunities for employees as we lead the creation of a world-class digital infrastructure for Britain.”
EE Chief Executive Olaf Swantee also made a statement about the takeover, “Joining BT represents an exciting next stage for our company, customers, and people. In the last few years alone, we have built the UK’s biggest, fastest and best 4G network, significantly advancing the digital communications infrastructure for people and businesses across Britain. Today’s announcement will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the mobile revolution, bringing even more innovation and investment in world leading connectivity for our customers.”
The current owners of EE; Orange and Deutsche Telekom will both hold stakes in BT with 12% being held by Deutsche Telekom and Orange taking a 4% stake.
The mobile phone market has had a flurry of recent changes over the last few months. There was the acquisition of O2 (Telefonica) by Hutchison Whampoa (Three Mobile UK), the deal signed by Sky to become a MVNO of O2 network and become a quad-player.
There are also rumours that Virgin Media may tie in with Vodafone.