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MERGER: Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom plan to merge T-Mobile UK and Orange UK
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 08.09.09 - 10:42:33 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 7992x
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Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom today announced that they have entered into exclusive negotiations to combine T-Mobile UK and Orange UK in a new 50:50 joint venture company. The new joint venture will create the UK's leading mobile operator. It will have a combined mobile customer base of around 28.4 million, representing approximately 37 percent of UK mobile subscribers, based on figures at end December 2008. By integrating Orange's broadband activities, the joint venture will also have the capabilities to offer convergent solutions to its customers in the future.

It's said, that this combination will bring substantial benefits to UK consumers. It will result in expanded network coverage and enhanced indoor and outdoor network quality for 2G and 3G services, as well as better customer proximity through a larger network of own shops and improved customer services. The combination will place the joint venture in a better position to invest in innovative new services and to exploit new technologies. The new enlarged business will also be able to compete more effectively with the other two large mobile operators in the market.

Timotheus Höttges, CFO of Deutsche Telekom, said: "We will become market leader - our customers will benefit in many ways, for example from the best mobile broadband offer in Britain. In the second-biggest market in Europe, which is undoubtedly one of the toughest and most competitive, we are giving T-Mobile UK a clear and strong future. And, with our partnership, we have taken the most value enhancing strategy for Deutsche Telekom and its shareholders."

Gervais Pellissier, CFO of France Telecom said: "By combining our operations in the UK, we anticipate the long-awaited consolidation in one of Europe's most competitive markets, thereby creating a well positioned player. This will reinforce fair competition and will provide strong benefits for our customers through improved coverage, quality of service and an enhanced capacity to develop new services and technologies. Our shareholders will benefit from higher profitability and an immediate cash flow per share accretion without impacting the overall indebtedness of the parent companies."

The Board of the new joint venture company will have balanced representation from Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom. The management team would be led by Tom Alexander, currently CEO of Orange UK, as CEO and Richard Moat, currently CEO of T-Mobile UK, as COO. The governance of the joint venture would attribute extensive operational decision-making to the management team.

The T-Mobile UK and Orange UK brands will be maintained separately for 18 months after completion of the transaction. During that period management will review branding alternatives for the joint venture and will develop a new branding strategy recommendation for shareholder approval.

This transaction is expected to create substantial value for both shareholders and to be accretive from 2010 in terms of free cash-flow per share and from 2011 in terms of earnings per share. Both Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom would recognize their respective interest in the joint venture using the equity method after closing. It is planned that the joint venture will distribute 90 percent of its free cash flow to its two shareholders.

Prior to the signing, which is expected to be end of October, both Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom will undertake confirmatory due diligence and will complete the definitive documentation. The final agreement is subject to the approval of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom and the Board of Directors of France Telecom, and the completion of an agreed transaction would be conditional on approval by the relevant competition authorities.

Cheers ~ Arne


 

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