Telefonica sells off O2 Ireland

SPANISH telecoms giant Telefonica has sold its Irish subsidiary to Three, the mobile operator owned by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa.

Three announced that it had bought O2 Ireland for as much as €850m (£723m) yesterday, in a move that cuts the number of Irish mobile operators from four to three. The deal is Telefonica’s latest disposal as it struggles with a mountain of debt.