The long anticipated sale of T-Mobile UK could finally be underway, after reports that parent company Deutsche Telekom is now in talks with Vodafone, Telefónica and France Telecom to sell the ailing unit.
A report in The Financial Times citing "people familiar with the matter" said that the talks are still at a preliminary stage, but that all three parties are interested in a potential acquisition. Vodafone, Orange and O2 all declined to comment on the story.
According to the report, one person briefed about Deutsche Telekom's plans argued that a strengthening economy could raise the sale price for T-Mobile UK to €4bn (£3.5bn).
"If we are lucky, we could end up with a three-horse race," the source is reported as saying.
Rumours surfaced at the beginning of the summer that Vodafone and O2 were interested in acquiring T-Mobile, in a deal which would see either firm jump to an almost unassailable market lead in the UK.
France Telecom, owner of Orange, then mooted the idea of a potential merger with T-Mobile. Orange is currently in third place in the UK market with a 22 per cent share, behind Vodafone with 25 per cent and O2 with 27 per cent.
However, some have argued that any acquisition by Vodafone or O2 could draw the attention of telecoms regulators.
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