The European Commission has informed Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom that it has granted clearance for the proposed merger of their UK-business operations – otherwise known as T-Mobile UK, and Orange UK, respectively. The implementation of the integration measures can start immediately, with the closing of the transaction expected in Spring.
Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom offered to divest 2×15 MHz of their joint GSM spectrum (1800 MHz) by the end of 2011. Of the divested spectrum 2×10 MHz needs to be cleared by 30 September 2013 at the latest and further 2×5 MHz need to be cleared by 30 September 2015 at the latest. In addition, the existing network sharing deal with 3UK, owned by Hong Kong based Hutchison Whampoa, was reinforced.
For those of you in to financials:
The new joint venture company is expected to generate estimated synergies with a net present value in excess of 4.0 billion euros (£3.5 billion). This continues to remain the case. The new business will have pro forma 2009 revenues of approximately 8.5 billion euros (£7.57 billion) and EBITDA of 1.55 billion euros (£1.38 billion).
The board of the new joint venture company will have balanced representation from Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom. The T-Mobile and Orange UK brands will continue to operate in the UK for at least 18 months after the completion of the transaction.
With a combined customer base of around 29.5 million the new joint venture company will be the number one player in the UK mobile market and it will be in a stronger position to invest in innovative services and to exploit new technologies. It will offer major customer benefits, including expanded network coverage, enhanced network quality for 2G and 3G services, providing the platform for unparalleled mobile broadband offers as well as better customer proximity through a larger network of own shops and improved customer services.
But there’s only one question on my mind – what are they going to call it? The two names don’t fit together like the singular names that the press find for many celebrity couples, so could we eventually see a complete rebrand? If so the wowzer, that’s going to be an expensive exercise!