BT confirms O2 buyout talks
| 25 November 2014
With rivals ploughing into the TV industry, UK mobile operator O2 Telefónica looks likely declined to follow suit and is poised to become the mobile offer of a quad-play from BT.
4116The news was confirmed by the UK incumbent telco who said that it had received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, one of which O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business. BT stressed that discussions are at a highly preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that any transaction will occur.
If realised, the deal, thought to be worth £10 billion, would be rather ironic given that O2's existence derives from being the Cellnet mobile business that BT used to own up until 2001. In a bid to reduce huge debts, BT set up its mobile business as a separate listed company, namely O2, worth £10 billion and in October 2005 Telefónica bought out O2 in a deal worth £18 billion.
BT added its corporate plan would be to develop our own plans for providing enhanced mobile services to business and consumer customers, in line with previous announcements. It added that it remained confident of delivering on these plans and had also been exploring ways of accelerating them, including assessing the merits of an acquisition of a mobile network operator in the UK.