Vodafone mulls offer for T-Mobile UK - report

Monday 29 June 2009 | 09:23 CET | News
Vodafone is considering an offer for T-Mobile UK, a deal that would catapult it to the top spot in the UK with a 40 percent market share, the Financial Times reported. The UK daily quoted people familiar with the situation, which said that the company was examining the merits of 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. The T-Mobile UK operations have an estimated enterprise value of EUR 3-4 billion. The FT said the deal runs the risk of being blocked by regulators. T-Mobile UK owner Deutsche Telekom has appointed JP Morgan to advise on strategic options for the underperforming business. O2 is currently the UK's largest operator with a market share of about 27 percent, followed by Vodafone with 25 percent. Orange has 22 percent and T-Mobile 15 percent. Regulators might let one operator secure such a large share of the market since that is the case in France, Italy and Spain, analysts said. Vodafone head Vittorio Colao said in November that he wants to play a part in consolidation of the sector. The UK is the only major European market with five mobile operators and consolidation could ease pricing pressures and help margins.

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