France Telecom moves closer to EE sale

04 April 2013 | Kavit Majithia


France Telecom could be set to part float or sell UK’s largest mobile operator, EE.

EE, which is jointly owned by France Telecom and Duetsche Telekom, has been courted by numerous private equity companies since last year.

The Financial Times reports that France Telecom has now lined up Morgan Stanley as the lead bank, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch also playing an advisory role and Deutsche Telekom will appoint separate advisers.

A twin track process will be implemented by the banks, which assesses the financial viability of a sale or a flotation.

Private equity groups, including KKR and Apax were reportedly in talks to acquire the business last summer, but were not able to reach any conclusion due to a lack of financial information. EE has a reported enterprise value of $10 billion, and its parents companies have also considered a part flotation of the business, which could be the most likely outcome according to sources close to the situation.

Both France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom declined to comment.