Telefonica sells O2 to Hutchison Whampoa for £10 bn

Spain's Telefonica said it would sell British telecom giant O2 to Hong Kong group Hutchison Whampoa for £10.25 billion in a deal that could create Britain's biggest mobile phone firmSpain’s Telefonica said it would sell British telecom giant O2 to Hong Kong group Hutchison Whampoa for £10.25 billion in a deal that could create Britain’s biggest mobile phone firm. “A definitive agreement has been reached after the finalisation of the process of due diligence on O2 UK,” the Spanish firm said in a statement, adding the deal was worth the equivalent of 14 billion euros ($15.2 billion). Subject to regulatory approval, Hutchison Whampoa will make an initial payment of £9.250 billion and a further £1.0 billion later once O2 reaches an agreed cash flow level, it said. It is the latest purchase in a spending spree by Hutchison’s owner, Hong Kong investment tycoon Li Ka-shing, one of Asia’s richest men.