O2 not for sale, says Telefonica

O2 not for sale, says Telefonica

Telefonica is no longer seeking buyers for O2, the Madrid based company has announced.

Since the European Commission blocked Three’s owners Huitchison Whampoa’s bid to buy O2 from Telefonica there has been a great deal of speculation about alternative options. Management buyout, sale to private equity  and stock floatation have all been suggested as potential routes Telefonica could take.

O2 CEO Ronan Dunne has consistently maintained that the business had not been actively touting for buyers in the way some have suggested. He has consistently said that after BT decided to buy EE instead of O2, Hutchison Whampoa made an opportunistic play to acquire the Telefonica owned brand, which was subsequently accepted.

The timing of Telefonica’s announcement has led some commentators to the conclusion that Britain’s decision to exit the EU would be a barrier in the sale of O2.

In a statement regarding O2 filed at the Spanish stock exchange Telefonica said: ‘Telefónica continues to explore different strategic alternatives for O2 UK, to be implemented when market conditions are deemed appropriate.’

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