EE confirms talks over sale to BT

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EE joint venture parent firms Orange and Deutsche Telekom have this morning confirmed they have joined Telefonica by entering discussions to sell the business to BT

Orange and Deutsche Telekom have confirmed they are in talks with BT about the sale of their British joint-venture, EE.

The news confirms that EE is the other UK network which BT referred to in a statement on Monday confirming it had been approached by two operators, with a view to selling their mobile connections bases to the fixed line operator. EE has more than 27 million mobile customers, while rival O2 has 24 million.

“Deutsche Telekom and Orange, the joint shareholders of EE, regularly analyse the development of the market in which EE operates, evaluating various strategic options which have the potential to create value for EE’s shareholders and strengthen the market position of EE,” they said.

“As one of these options, Deutsche Telekom and Orange are in exploratory discussions with BT, although it is too early to state whether any transaction may occur.”

It follows comments by Orange chief executive officer Stephane Richard last week who said that EE’s ownership structure “isn’t a long term scheme”. The joint-venture was formed in 2010.

EE and BT already have a relationship with each other through an MVNO agreement signed last year. The former state owned telco is planning to use in conjunction which its WiFi network to relaunch its consumer mobile division in the first half of next year.

EE is being valued by financial analysts at around £10 billion, while a value of £9 billion has been mooted for O2.

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