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David Guyatt
01-23-2015, 09:48 AM
Li Ka-Shing is probably not a name that resonates immediately with a lot of people these days, but dig back in time and there were all sorts of report about him being a mainland Chinese spy and key man in the Chinese export of narcotics. See HERE (http://chinawatchcanada.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/bcci-scandal-pla-spy-li-ka-shing-and.html).

Which raises the question why nothing has ever been done by the west to restrict his trading activity under his Hutchison corporation, but on the contrary, they often seem to go out of their way to aid the growth and development of his multi-billion dollar empire?

It remains an interesting question.

Hutchison are now in talks with Telefonica to purchase the UK's mobile company 02, which if it proceeds would make it the UK's largest mobile group.



Three owner Li Ka-shing in exclusive talks to buy O2 for £10bnO2 deal will create Britain’s biggest mobile phone company with 32m customers






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http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02152/o2_2152379b.jpgEuropean authorities are likely to approve the O2 sale Photo: AFP








By Christopher Williams (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/christopher-williams/), and Denise Roland

7:27AM GMT 23 Jan 2015
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Telefonica has confirmed that it is in exclusive talks with Hutchison Whampoa, owner of the mobile operator Three, for the sale of its UK subsidiary O2 for £10.25bn in cash.

The Spanish telecoms giant said the pair were negotiating an upfront payment of £9.25bn with an additional £1bn to be paid "once the cumulative cash flow of the combined company in the UK has reached an agreed threshold".

It said the exclusivity period will last several weeks, allowing the pair to finalise the deal and for Hutchinson Whampoa to complete due diligence on O2.

The move will mean more upheaval for a sector still digesting BT’s planned takeover of EE.

The combination of Three and O2 will create Britain’s biggest mobile operator, with 32m customers, leapfrogging EE’s 28m and relegating Vodafone to last place with 20m.

Related Articles


http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02499/Li-Ka-Shing_2499914g.jpg (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/11352720/Billionaire-Li-Ka-Shing-could-shake-up-UK-telecoms-with-play-for-O2.html)

Billionaire Li Ka-Shing could shake up UK telecoms with play for O2 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/11352720/Billionaire-Li-Ka-Shing-could-shake-up-UK-telecoms-with-play-for-O2.html)
17 Jan 2015
Sky in talks for O2 tie-up (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/telecoms/11358063/Sky-in-talks-for-O2-tie-up.html)
20 Jan 2015
BT faces customer service challenge after £12.5bn EE takeover (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/telecoms/11304568/BT-faces-customer-service-challenge-after-12.5bn-EE-takeover.html)
20 Dec 2014
Telefonica chairman flies in in bid to sell O2 to BT (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/telecoms/11288638/Telefonica-chairman-flies-in-in-bid-to-sell-O2-to-BT.html)
11 Dec 2014


It will cut the number of networks from four to three, triggering a competition investigation.
The industry regulator, Ofcom, has for years resisted calls for more consolidation in the industry following the 2010 merger of Orange and T-Mobile, to form EE.
However, European competition authorities have recently approved deals that created markets of only three networks in Austria, Ireland and Germany, with conditions.
Rumours that Hutchison, controlled by the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, could seek a consolidation deal in the UK emerged in November after BT confirmed it was in talks with both Telefonica and the owners of EE.
When BT chose to enter exclusive talks to buy EE for £12.5bn in December Telefonica was widely seen as likely to seek a quick alternative exit from O2. The Spanish group has been working to reduce heavy debts and expand in Latin America.
It feared being saddled with a UK business under attack from a new powerful rival in BT, without broadband or television offers with which to fight back.
O2 was already seen as suffering from under-investment and was left with the weakest share of 4G airwaves in an auction two years. As speculation of a merger with Three intensified this week, analysts at Macquarie said the combination would be “very rational”.
It would create an operator with enough customers to justify its investment in airwaves, and enough airwaves to serve their growing demand for mobile internet access.
Hutchison entered the UK market from scratch in 2003 having bought a chunk of 3G airwaves at in a blockbuster auction at the height of the dotcom boom. The Hong Kong conglomerate has sunk cash into the venture as it has struggled to build scale and played the role of challenge brand, undercutting the incumbents.
Macquarie suggested consolidation would “materially improve the UK market structure and benefit EE and Vodafone”.
To protect consumers in other consolidating European mobile markets, regulators have imposed conditions including guarantees for ‘virtual’ mobile operators who buy wholesale access to networks then use their own brand to sell to customers. In Britain they include Tesco Mobile and TalkTalk.
Sky, without a mobile offering to match BT’s plans for EE, has also held recent talks with both Vodafone and O2 about a wholesale deal, so could also benefit.
As well as competition hurdles, Hutchison will have to find a way to disentangle the two network sharing deals that O2 and Three are signed up to with Vodafone and EE respectively. The complications prompted O2 chief executive Ronan Dunne to comment in November that he saw a merger with Three as the least likely of all possible scenarios for consolidation.