Vodafone may buy T-Mobile

Author: By Graeme Evans, Press Association

The Financial Times said another option under consideration involved a joint
venture between Vodafone and T-Mobile UK, which is believed to have an
enterprise value of between £2.5 billion and £3.4 billion.

Vodafone’s interest comes as the FT said Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s owner,
had appointed JP Morgan to advise on strategic options for the business
after several years of under-performance. It has around 15% of the UK market.

A takeover would give Vodafone a 40% share and put it on collision course with
regulators.

However, the FT said that the UK is the only major European market with five
mobile operators, while circumstances exist in France, Italy and Spain where
one operator has at least a 40% share of the market.

O2, which is owned by Spain’s Telefonica, is currently the largest operator in
the UK with a market share of 27%. Vodafone has 25%, France Telecom’s Orange
holds 22%, while 3, the operator owned by Hutchison Whampoa, has 8%.

Operators have complained about fierce competition in the UK, with Vodafone
recently reporting a 1.1% fall in UK revenues for its most recent financial
year.

Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao recently said his company was
willing to play an active role in consolidation between operators. The first
example of this came in Australia after Vodafone and Hutchison Whampoa
announced plans to combine their mobile businesses there.

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