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KKR, Apax linked with £8bn bid for UK Orange, T-Mobile owner

18 Jun 2012

US buyout giant KKR and British firm Apax are believed to be in talks over an £8bn takeover of the UK’s largest mobile network provider, Everything Everywhere.

The company, which is owned by France Telecom (FT) and Deutsche Telekom (DT), provides mobile and broadband services to more than 27 million customers through its Orange and T-Mobile brands.

FT and DT created the company by merging Orange and T-Mobile in the UK in 2010 to make £3.5bn of savings to its customers.

Virgin Mobile founder Tom Alexander and former Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin are leading KKR’s negotiations according to reports in the UK’s Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph newspapers.

The Sunday Times claimed KKR and Apax were willing to put up about £3bn in equity for the deal, leaving the consortium short of a credible offer by about £5bn.

Everything Everywhere is spending more than £1.5bn over the next three years in bringing faster and more reliable coverage to its customers amid the boom in smartphones, according to the Press Association.

A statement from the company said: “We have a clearly articulated, five-year plan for growth under the ownership of our shareholders France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, and we are delivering on that plan.”

The statement added: “We would not comment on any possible future shareholder structure of our business.”

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