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BT announces £12.5bn deal for EE

Gavin Patterson

Gavin Patterson

The UK quad-play market has made another significant step forward, with UK telco BT reaching definitive terms to acquire UK mobile operator EE for £12.5bn.

EE is the leading mobile network operator in the UK with 31m customers of which 24.5m are direct mobile customers and 834,000 are fixed broadband customers. It also has the largest 4G customer base of any operator in Europe.

Following the Transaction and Equity Placing, Deutsche Telekom will hold a 12% stake in BT and will be entitled to appoint one non-executive member of the BT Board of Directors. Orange will hold a 4% stake in BT.

“This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them,” says BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson. “The UK’s leading 4G network will now dovetail with the UK’s biggest fibre network, helping to create the leading converged communications provider in the UK.”

Analysts are emphasising the wider implications of the deal for the UK telecoms industry.

“This is further evidence of the UK market’s apparently inexorable shift towards quad play services – offering TV and mobile alongside broadband and the home phone connection,” Ovum analyst Nick Thomas (Practice Leader Digital Media), told IP&TV News (commenting on the related plans concerning Sky’s partnering plans for O2). “Operators that don’t offer all four services seem terrified of being left behind, even when their core businesses are apparently strong.”

This year’s TV Connect (28th – 30th April 2015 ExCel, London) is a great place to get the lay of the land for BT’s future plans, with the likes of Alex Green (Director TV, BT) and Simon Jones (Chief TV Architect, BT) delivering exclusive keynotes. Click here to download the full TV Connect brochure

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