BT Agrees US$19 Billion EE Deal

BT has said it would raise US$1.5 billion through a placing of new shares to fund its US$19 billion acquisition of mobile operator EE

As the UK’s biggest fixed-line telecoms provider, BT has spent the last few weeks in exclusive talks with the owners of EE, Orange and Deutsche Telekom to negotiate a deal. 

BT has confirmed it will fund the cash and shares deal through new debt and the placing of new shares. Following the transaction, Deutsche will hold a 12 percent stake in BT and Orange will hold a 4 percent stake. 

“This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them,” BT Chief Executive, Gavin Patterson said. 

“The UK's leading 4G network will now dovetail with the UK's biggest fiber network, helping to create the leading converged communications provider in the UK.”

Through the acquisition of the country's biggest superfast mobile network, BT said it would accelerate its plans to give retail customers seamless access to the internet whether via fibre broadband in buildings or with Wi-Fi hotspots and 4G mobile services.

The telecoms giant expects to achieve combined operating cost and capital investment savings of around 360 million pounds per year in the fourth full year and it also expects to generate revenue synergies with a total net present value of around US$2.4 billion. 

In a separate statement, EE revealed that its 4G customer base had risen to 7.7 million subscribers, beating it six million end-of-year target. It also reported a 0.2 percent drop in full-year operating revenue excluding the effect of regulation.