Telefonica still matchmaking

TELEFONICA: Still looking for a suitor.

REJECTED by British Telecom, Telefonica is still looking for a suitor for its UK mobile subsidiary O2.

The Spanish company is in talks with Sky, Virgin and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, which owns the Three mobile network.

Three is currently the smallest operator in the UK but if Hutchison goes ahead, paying a possible $13.6 billion (€10.5 billion) for O2, it would become the country’s biggest mobile operator with more than 31 million customers. 

Were Hutchison, Sky and Virgin all to reject Telefonica’s approaches, the Spanish company would take its remaining option of floating the company on the stock market, sources said.

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