Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong conglomerate that owns Three across Europe, has confirmed it is in exclusive negotiations to acquire O2 in the UK from Telefónica for €13.5bn (stg£10.2bn).
The move follows hot on the heels of a development whereby BT will acquire Everything Everywhere from Orange (Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom) for €15.7bn (stg£12.5bn).
As previously reported by Siliconrepublic.com, by merging Three with O2 Hutchison Whampoa will own effectively the largest mobile carrier in the UK.
It is understood that stg£9.2bn (€12.2bn) will be paid to Telefónica at closing of the deal following due diligence.
“Deferred upside interest sharing payments of up to a further stg£1bn (€1.3bn) in the aggregate (will be) payable after the cumulative cash flow of the combined businesses of Hutchison 3G UK Limited and O2 UK has reached an agreed threshold,” Hutchison Whampoa said.
“The timing and amounts of these payments will depend on the actual cash flows of the combined businesses.”
BT sold its O2 mobile division to Telefónica in 2005 for stg£18bn (€24bn).
O2 store in London image via Shutterstock