A £10 billion bid is being lined up to takeover EE, the main provider of 4G services in the UK, with a group of private equity firms believed to be behind the tender.
The FT reported that Blackstone, Apax Partners, KKR and CVC Capital Partners are set to table the bid, after failing with an initial offer for the mobile network operator last year.
The June 2012 bid was believed to be in the region of £8 billion, but the group has now upped the offer in a bid to takeover EE, which continues to increase its 4G coverage across the UK as the popularity of the service rises.
Another key development is that the group may allow EE's current owners, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, to retain a stake in the company, in the region of 20 per cent.
A strategic review of the company and the feasibility of a sale is now being carried out by France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom.