Vodafone reviews at partnership options

Telecoms group approachs advisers to work on scenarios, including possible acquisitions

Vodafone is looking at options for the future of its British mobile business. Photograph: PA/PA Wire

Vodafone is looking at options for the future of its British mobile business. Photograph: PA/PA Wire

 

Vodafone is looking at options for the future of its British mobile business, including the combination of a rival group, in reaction to the takeover discussions between BT and mobile groups EE and O2.

The British telecoms group has approached advisers to work on scenarios, including possible acquisitions, as rival BT considers a major mobile deal to attract customers with bundled mobile and internet services, according to sources within the industry.

Vodafone is one of a number of groups in UK telecoms considering how to react to a market poised to be transformed by any deal that would make BT a dominant provider of both mobile and fixed line telecoms services.

The British group has indicated in the past that cable group Liberty Global – which owns Virgin Media – would make the most obvious partner, given that its strategies are increasingly aligned.

However, there are a number of other British groups that have been linked to Vodafone, which is interested in adding fixed line infrastructure and TV operations to its mobile business.

Transformation

Vodafone declined to comment.

Hutchison Whampoa is also reported to be considering how the BT transaction will affect Three, the smallest of the mobile groups in the UK.

The group, which is controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, has not made any offers, however, according to those close to situation.

The Hong Kong group declined to comment. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014