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Vodafone eyes T-Mobile UK bid

29 июня 2009

Vodafone is considering an offer to buy T-Mobile UK in an audacious move that would have huge repercussions for the British mobile phone market.

The world’s largest mobile operator by revenue is looking at the case for acquiring T-Mobile UK, which has an estimated enterprise value of €3bn-€4bn ($4.2bn-$5.6bn) – even though any transaction runs the risk of being blocked by regulators.

Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile UK’s owner, has appointed JPMorgan to advise on the strategic options for the business after several years of under-performance.

Vodafone declined to comment. But people familiar with the situation said the company was examining the case for making an offer for T-Mobile UK, or setting up a joint venture. In February, Vodafone and Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong conglomerate, announced plans to combine their Australian mobile businesses.

If Vodafone were to buy T-Mobile UK, the company would be catapulted to clear market leadership, with a 40 per cent share of revenue paid by British mobile phone users.

Currently, O2 , the largest UK mobile operator owned by Spain’s Telefonica, has a market share of about 27 per cent.

Vodafone has 25 per cent, France Telecom’s Orange 22 per cent, T-Mobile 15 per cent, and 3, the operator owned by Hutchison Whampoa, 8 per cent.

Some analysts say regulators might let one operator secure a 40 per cent market share, given such circumstances exist in France, Italy and Spain.

In the three months to March 31, T-Mobile UK reported €836m of revenue, down 21 per cent, and €113m of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, down 51 per cent.

Deutsche Telekom declined to comment.


Источник: Financial Times

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