Orange expects BT to decide on £10bn EE takeover by Christmas

Oliver Smith
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THE CHIEF executive of French telecoms group Orange, Stephane Richard, said yesterday that he expected BT to decide before Christmas on whether to bid for the UK’s largest mobile network operator, EE, or its smaller rival, Telefonica’s O2.

“BT has its own calendar,” said Richard, speaking at a conference on France’s economy and business climate, according to Reuters.

“You should know more a few days before Christmas,” he added.

EE’s owners, Orange and Deutsche Telekom, confirmed last month that they were in talks with BT about a possible sale while BT is also talking to Spanish group Telefonica about buying its UK mobile business, O2.

EE, which controls 33.8 per cent of the UK mobile market in terms of service revenue and is the leader in 4G, could cost BT around £10bn, while O2 with a 26.2 per cent market share could cost nearer to £9bn.

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