Hutch agrees to buy O2, talks to SWFs

Hutchison Whampoa agrees to pay up to £10.25 billion for Telefonica's O2 and is in talks with sovereign wealth funds about offloading a stake of up to 30% in the UK mobile phone group.

Li Ka-shing-controlled Hutchison Whampoa has agreed to pay up to 10.25 billion $15.2 billion for UK mobile phone firm O2.

The deal announced on Wednesday with Spanish parent Telefonica will create the UK's biggest mobile operator, once O2 is merged with Hutchison 3G UK, and marks Hutchison Whampoa's largest acquisition ever, as Hong Kong's richest man Li doubles down on investments in Europe.

The 86-year old Li has been seeking to redeploy money from Hong Kong to regulated assets in developed markets. Other acquisitions in recent years include UK rail rolling-stock owner Eversholt Rail Group, Orange Austria, and Northumbrian...

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