Dyson rules out Three bid for O2

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Chief executive rules out a rumoured bid that would have left the UK with just three major operators

Three chief executive Dave Dyson says the operator was “not looking to acquire”, appearing to rule out a potential bid for O2.

The company is awaiting regulatory approval for its €780 million (£646 million) purchase of O2 Ireland but comments made to The Daily Telegraph rule out a similar move on this side of the Irish Sea.

“I’m comfortable with our position. We don’t need to be consolidated or to consolidate anybody,” he said. “We’re not looking to acquire or to be acquired. I think we’ve got an opportunity to build a standalone business that delivers against customer and shareholder expectations.”

Analysis firm CCS Insight had predicted that Three would purchase O2 from its parent company Telefonica to become a leading European operator.

However, Dyson says they are focused on expanding its UK base organically.

“Mobile operators have to have a reasonable amount of scale because there is a large fixed cost,” he added. “We’ve got ourselves into a position in the UK with 8m customers and £2bn revenue where our margins are reasonable and they’re improving.

“Ireland is a market with a much smaller population and it’s hard to get to that position of scale. In the UK we’re certainly in a position where we don’t need to consolidate with anybody. We’ve got a solid business with solid foundations.”

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