Telefónica hires Citigate Dewe Rogerson as Hutchison targets O2 acquisition

Financial and corporate comms agency Citigate Dewe Rogerson is understood to be working with Telefónica around industry consolidation as Hutchison Whampoa (HW), the Hong Kong-based owner of UK network Three, targets a £9.25bn acquisition of its UK business O2.

O2: Says the acquisition would benefit its customers and those of Three
O2: Says the acquisition would benefit its customers and those of Three

On Friday HW said it had entered into exclusive negotiations with Spanish mobile giant Telefónica "over a period of several weeks" for the acquisition of O2. The move would create the UK’s biggest mobile group, although it is likely to be scrutinised closely by competition bodies.

PRWeek understands that Citigate Dewe Rogerson had been appointed to work for Telefónica around the process. A spokesman for the agency was unable to comment.

It is understood that Blue Rubicon, the retained corporate agency for O2, continues to work with the telecoms firm.

It is also understood to be too early for any decision to be made on the impact of the potential acquisition on internal comms at both O2 and Three.

If successful, the acquisition would mark a significant development in the ongoing consolidation of the UK telecoms market. BT had previously expressed an interest in O2 but instead entered exclusive talks to merge with EE, the UK’s biggest mobile operator, which owns Orange and T-Mobile.

Reacting to news of HW’s approach, an O2 spokesperson said: "Three is known for campaigning on behalf of its customers, much like O2. We are confident that an agreement will mutually benefit the customers of both companies, as well as drive better value, quality and investment in one of the most digitally competitive countries in the world."

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