Private equity firms KKR and Apax are understood to have put forward a collective £3bn to buy the British telecoms company – a hybrid of Orange and T-Mobile, the UK brands of France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom respectively – but this figure falls far short of the total asking price.
Analysts have pegged a value of around £9bn or £10bn on the mobile network, but a sale is expected to set the buyers back around £8bn once future investments and upgrade plans are factored in.
Tom Alexander, who resigned as boss of Everything Everywhere last summer citing personal reasons, is understood to have been building the cash squad for several months – unsuccessfully at first.
Although Alexander’s plans have now gained traction, with a few investment banks pitching in, industry experts have expressed doubt that the bid will succeed, pointing at the timing of the bid, the complexity of the number of funding sources involved and the amount each will have to cough up.
But sources say Everything Everywhere, which has 27m customers, is open to a sale. Previous rumours have claimed Deutsche Telekom is looking to pull out of the UK hybrid, while France Telecom only last week hinted at potential plans to take the business public.
KKR,which bought Alliance Boots in 2007 for £11bn, and Apax, which recently bought Orange’s Swiss arm for £1.3bn, declined to comment.