Someone's Trying to Buy Everything Everywhere For £8 Billion

By Sam Gibbs on at

The UK's largest mobile phone network could end up getting sold off, if rumours of an £8bn buyout hold any water. Apparently a couple of private equity firms, lead by an ex-Everything Everywhere executive, are looking to take over the network, which could lead to EE disappearing from the UK's airwaves.

If Everything Everywhere was bought out as a whole, it'd make it the second largest buy-out in recent British history, and could lead to either a re-branding around the Orange network or another new network entirely. It's unclear whether the private equity firms, KKR and Apax Partners (lead by the previous EE CEO Tom Alexander), would be able to stump up £8bn or more for the whole caboodle, or whether they'd just buy out the T-Mobile half, partnering with France Telecom's Orange.

It's also unknown how a buy-out of this magnitude would impact EE's early 4G roll out and its competition in the full 4G auctions -- we could face even more delays if new owners step in.

All this is just rumour right now, as both Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom have denied receiving any offers of this kind, but it'll be interesting to keep an eye on. With 27 million customers, the Everything Everywhere super network is the UK's biggest, but it faces tough competition from the likes of O2 and Vodafone, especially coming into the new battleground of 4G. [The Guardian]