Legal Business Blogs

Dealwatch: Freshfields, CC and NRF called in on BT’s £12.5bn purchase of EE

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance and Norton Rose Fulbright have won roles as telecoms giant BT plumps to acquire Britain’s largest mobile network group EE for £12.5bn.

BT has entered exclusive agreements with EE owners Germany’s Deutsche Telekom and France’s Orange to purchase EE. The news comes after BT confirmed it was in talks to purchase either EE or Spanish group Telefonica’s O2 last month.

BT turned to Freshfields for advice with co-head of M&A in London Ben Spiers, head of antitrust, competition and trade Rod Carlton and corporate partner Natasha Good advising.

Meanwhile, Clifford Chance M&A corporate partners Tim Lewis and Joachim Fleury represented Deutsche Telecom, while Norton Rose Fulbright corporate partners Oliver Stacey and Chris Pearson advised Orange.

Under the agreement, Deutsche Telekom will hold a 12% stake in BT and be entitled to appoint one member to BT’s board of directors while Orange will gain a 4% share. The remainder of the £12.5bn purchase price will be paid in cash with financing options currently being considered by the company.

BT said in a statement: ‘The proposed acquisition would enable BT to accelerate its existing mobility strategy whereby customers will benefit from innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband, wi-fi and 4G.’

If approved, BT will consolidate its back-offices and make savings on procurement, marketing and sales costs. BT also expects to generate revenue through selling fixed-line services to EE customers who do not currently take a service from BT, and by accelerating the sale of converged fixed-mobile services to BT’s existing consumer and business customers.