New T-Mobile/Orange JV identity


Orange and T-Mobile are tomorrow (May 11) to reveal detail of the leadership team, marketing message and new company name with which they will take their UK joint venture to market.

Announcement about the new company identity will likely be the new name of the joint venture parent, as opposed to the trading brand or brands the pair will adopt in the market place. However, well-placed sources claimed the pair are moving fast and could announce a new airtime and retail brand tomorrow.

The leadership team will comprise around 50 executives from the two organisations, claimed sources, tasked with bringing the project to market swiftly, with minimum disruption to trading and customer experience, and with delivery of the joint venture “vision”, to be outlined tomorrow.

The leadership team is expected to include the six board members of the joint venture company, including Orange UK chief Tom Alexander and T-Mobile UK managing director Richard Moat, plus departmental chiefs and their senior management teams.

It is expected personnel for the operation’s direct sales, indirect sales, wholesale, marketing, branding, HR, finance, legal and corporate governance departments will be made clearer following tomorrow’s announcement.

A new-look corporate governance department will be required to deal with a significant redundancy plan by the merged business, from the points of view of both companies.

In a combined statement to all UK Orange and T-Mobile staff, Alexander and Richard Moat said: “It is likely yo be the talk of the industry, and will be the start of the two businesses coming together.”

Alexander is chief executive of the new venture; Moat is deputy and chief financial officer.

Other board members include Deutsche Telekom chief financial officer Tim Höttges, who takes the position of non-executive chairman for two years. After this time, the role rotates to Gervais Pellissier, France Telecom deputy chief and chief financial officer.

Also joining as non-executive directors are Philipp Humm, chief regional officer Europe for Deutsche Telekom, and Olaf Swantee, European executive vice president at France Telecom.

Orange UK and T-Mobile UK became a single legal entity on April 1. The pair have said consistently they will trade as separate brands for 18 months following merger, but sources close to the situation have insisted always such missives have hidden a more urgent agenda, and that the integration of their businesses will be much quicker.

The branding issue remains unclear. Despite speculation about a single new trading name, commentators have suggested they will retain both the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK, with the former especially holding considerable power in consumers’ minds.

Alexander himself hinted early on existing brands might be retained to “power” the venture in brand new marketing material.

The new network operation leapfrogs market leader Telefonica O2 UK into first place in the market, with around 37 per cent share and over 28 million customers. Combined, the venture will have revenues of €9.4 billion (£7.7bn) and EBITDA of €2.1 billion (£1.7 bn).

The merger and integration of T-Mobile UK with Orange UK should generate savings in excess of €4 billion (£3.5bn).

O2 has around 27 per cent, Vodafone has 25 per cent, Orange has 22 per cent and T-Mobile has 15 per cent.