Telefónica drops plans to sell O2 UK

30 June 2016 |

Telefónica looks to be abandoning its earlier plan to sell a stake in O2 following the UK’s decision last week to exit the European Union.

Telefónica had sought to sell O2 to Three UK for £10.25 billion until the European Commission blocked the deal in May 2016.

The operator announced on Wednesday that it is changing the way it reports figures for O2 UK – fully consolidating it within the group financial statements, beginning with its half-year results due for publication in July 2016. 

It added that Telefónica's operations in the UK will no longer be reported as discontinued operations within the group and all assets and liabilities will cease to be reported as “held for sale”. 

The operator had planned to reduce its €50.2 billion debt through the sale of O2 to Three UK. "Telefónica continues to explore different strategic alternatives for O2 UK, to be implemented when market conditions are deemed appropriate," said the company in the filing.

Telefónica was reportedly in talks with several banks last week about a UK IPO