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Author Topic: Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing in talks to buy O2 for 10bn  (Read 500 times)

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Offline Jay9

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Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing in talks to buy O2 for 10bn
« on: 23 January 2015, 06:36:30 »

Asia's richest person Li Ka-shing is in talks to buy Britain's second-largest mobile provider O2 for up to 10.25bn ($15.4bn) from Spain's Telefonica.

His firm Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa already owns the Three mobile network, and combining it with O2 would create the UK's biggest mobile group.

However, the move could face tough scrutiny from competition regulators.

It also comes amid rising competition in the European telecoms sector, where rival EE is in talks with the BT Group.

Hutchison said in a statement that the exclusive negotiations with Telefonica will take a period of several weeks.

"Shareholders and potential investors of the company should note that such negotiations may or may not result in any transaction, and accordingly are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the company," it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Hutchison shares jumped 4% on the announcement after they resumed trading in Hong Kong. They had been suspended on Friday morning pending the statement.

Mr Li has spent more than 20bn on overseas acquisitions in recent years. Just earlier this week, he agreed to buy the UK's Eversholt Rail Group for 1.1bn.

The 86-year old is also undertaking a major reorganisation of his business empire, which has interests in property, energy, ports and telecoms.

The conglomerates Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa are both controlled by Mr Li. He plans to merge them and spin off their property assets into a new company, also to be listed in Hong Kong.



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