Britain’s telecom giant BT on Monday confirmed that it is under exclusive talks with Germany’s Deutsche Telekom and France’s Orange to buy British mobile operator EE for USD 19.5 billion in cash and shares.
Releasing a statement, BT said, “The deal will allow us to accelerate our existing mobility strategy as well as offer innovative and seamless services that combine the power of Wi-Fi, fiber broadband and 4G.”
BT further said that the agreement will result in “the UK’s most advanced 4G network, giving it greater control in terms of future investment and product innovation.”
Deutsche Telekom said that it is expecting to complete the negotiations over the sale of its British mobile phone subsidiary EE to BT in the first quarter of next year.
The dealings with BT progressed very well and are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event in the German city of Mannheim, Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges said, “If no significant obstacles arise in the due diligence process, it will pass quickly.”
In 2012, the British regulators had awarded the highly coveted 4G spectrum to EE. This allowed EE to become the first provider to offer 4G services in Britain.
The rumors about the BT acquisition have first cropped up in November when EE had confirmed early discussions with it, offering a possible merger between the two of the largest tech firms in the country. The announcement had followed earlier rumors that BT was in severe talks for the acquisition of O2, the mobile business sold by it to Telefonica for £17.7 billion almost a decade ago.