Hutchison to buy U.K. carrier O2 for up to US$15 billion

The deal would make Hutchison the biggest mobile player in Britain

Hutchison Whampoa has agreed to acquire U.K. mobile operator O2 for a price that could top US$15 billion, giving a company that already owns one major carrier an even bigger share of the British market.

The deal, which has been in the works at least since January, continues a trend of consolidation among European service providers. Hutchison already owns Three, one of the U.K.'s biggest carriers. Together, Three and O2 would form the country's number one mobile operator by subscribers, according to news reports.

O2 is currently owned by Spanish multinational mobile giant Telefónica. Hutchison agreed to make an initial payment of 9,250 British pounds (about $13.7 billion) when the deal closes and pay another 1 billion pounds when cash flow from the combined company reaches a certain level, Telefónica said. The total price would exceed $15.2 billion, based on Tuesday's exchange rates.

The transaction still needs regulatory approvals. It would cut the number of major mobile operators in the country from four to three.

Hutchison, based in Hong Kong, owns mobile operators under the Three name in several countries across Asia and Europe. It also has interests in property, ports, retail, energy and infrastructure.

The O2 buyout is the second big mobile deal in the U.K. this year. Last month, BT agreed to buy mobile carrier EE from Deutsche Telekom and Orange for about $19 billion.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuestelecommunicationo2CarriersHutchison WhampoaTelefónica

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?