KKR, led by Tom Alexander, founder of Virgin Mobile, is in early stage talks about a possible take over of Everything Everywhere (EE) for a reported £6.45bn. Everything Everywhere’s most notable assets in the UK are mobile giants Orange and T-mobile.
Everything was formed in 2010 by merging Orange and T-Mobile, the British assets of the two European telecoms giants, delivering £3.5 billion of cost savings to its owners.
Arun Sarin, the former Vodafone chief executive and one of KKR’s senior advisers, has also been involved in the discussions for the potential takeover of EE. A definite deal is uncertain at present but this move would see 28 million UK customers moved to the KKR umbrella.
France Telecom’s finance director Gervais Pellissier last week told reporters the company would consider floating a stake in Everything.
It has been suggested that both Deutsche Telecom and France Telecom would welcome the money given the need to invest in next-generation fixed and mobile networks, while Everything Everywhere will need funds to bid for spectrum in the upcoming 4G auction later this year. Last November, the network announced that it had successfully refinanced its £875 million debts owed to its parent companies with a new loan and credit facility.
An Everything Everywhere statement 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.”
Analysts have said that a takeover could cost as much as €8 billion (£6.45bn) but a deal would take a long time to complete.