BT has confirmed recent rumours and stated that it has entered negotiations to buy EE for £12.5 billion. The move means it is no longer planning on purchasing O2, as mooted by inside sources last month.
The deal has not yet been struck, BT announcing that it has entered exclusive discussions in order for it to complete due diligence. It says the exclusive period will last ‘several weeks’.
EE is currently owned jointly by Orange and Deutsche Telekom. It was formed after Orange and T–Mobile merged their UK businesses. If an agreement is reached, Deutsche Telekom will take a 12% stake in BT, with Orange picking up 4%.
BT sold off O2 a decade ago for over £17 billion. Its return to the UK mobile market comes as rivals such as TalkTalk and Sky look to create so–called ‘quad play’ services, offering mobile, TV, broadband and landline access for one monthly fee.
BT says there are ‘no guarantees’ there will be a deal, with further announcements ‘as and when appropriate’.
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