In a major development, telecom service provider, Three Ireland has agreed to acquire rival O2 in a deal valued at _850 million.
The acquisition will make Three Ireland the second largest telecom service provider in the country. Under the agreement, Three will pay _780 million initially for acquiring the Irish operations of the Spanish telecoms company Telefonica. The remaining _70 million will be paid alter and will be dependent upon O2 meeting certain financial targets in the coming months.
The deal is still subject to an approval from the competition and could take between six and nine months. Following the acquisition, Three Ireland will have about 2 million subscribers and combined revenues of more than _800 million. The company will have about 40 per cent share of Ireland's mobile telecommunications market.
Three Ireland chief executive Robert Finnegan said, "As an ambitious competitor in the market, we have been looking at ways to increase customer numbers and grow market share; and acquisition was the natural next step."
He also aid that the company will continue to invest "strongly" on the back of the deal, creating a 4G network for offering improved services to its customers.
Source: Top News