BT has agreed to buy mobile operator EE for £12.5bn
London - AFP
British telecoms and TV company BT has agreed to buy mobile operator EE for £12.5 billion ($18.9 billion, 16.6 billion euros), creating the nation's leading communications provider, it said Thursday.
EE is a British mobile phone brand operated by French company Orange and Deutsche Telekom of Germany.
"BT has agreed definitive terms to acquire EE for £12.5 billion. The combination of EE and BT will provide customers with innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband with wi-fi and advanced mobile capabilities," it said in a statement.
The cash-and-shares deal will be financed by a £1.0-billion shares sale.
Following completion of the deal, Deutsche Telekom will hold a 12-percent stake in BT and will be allowed to appoint one member of the BT board.
Orange will meanwhile hold a 4.0-percent stake in the company.
BT Group had already announced in December that it was in talks to purchase EE.
"This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them," added BT chief executive Gavin Patterson in the statement.
"The UK's leading 4G network will now dovetail with the UK's biggest fibre network, helping to create the leading converged communications provider in the UK.
"Consumers and businesses will benefit from new products and services as well as from increased investment and innovation."
Patterson added that there would also be "significant operating and capital investment efficiencies" arising from the deal.