T-Mobile UK and Orange merger creates UK’s largest mobile phone firm

| September 8, 2009 | 0 Comments

A joint venture between mobile phone giants, T-Mobile UK and Orange, is to create the UK’s largest mobile phone company with more than 28 million customers and annual sales of €9.4 billion (£8.2 billion), the BBC has reported today.

The combined company will have a 37% share of the UK mobile market - overtaking market leader, Telefonica’s O2.

Currently, T-Mobile is the fourth largest mobile operator in the UK, holding a 15% share of the market. O2 has a 27% share, followed by Vodafone and Orange at 25% and 22% respectively.

Both brands will remain separate for the first 18 months after the deal is completed while branding is reviewed.

The deal should be finalised by the end of October and according to the companies, it will “bring substantial benefits to UK customers” with better network coverage.

However, the deal could bring job losses due to overlap within the two companies. Orange has a UK workforce of 12,500, while T-Mobile employs 6,500 in the UK.

Tom Alexander, chief executive of Orange, will head up the new company, with T-Mobile’s UK boss Richard Moat as chief operating officer.

The joint venture of the two phone companies comes hot on the heels of the £10.2 billion takeover approach for confectionery giant Cadbury from US food giant, Kraft.

Shares in Cadbury surged 36% to 778p following the news of the takeover, which it has turned down.

Tags: , Orange, T-Mobile UK

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