Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom today revealed that they have entered into exclusive negotiations to combine T-Mobile UK and Orange UK in a new 50:50 joint venture company.
The media was briefed on the story this morning after the German Stock Exchange opened. A press statement was then sent out from France Telecom's offices in Paris announcing the deal.
Orange head of PR Mat Sears said he had been receiving calls from the press over the last few days amid huge amounts of speculation about the deal. ‘This is big news for the industry,' said Sears.
Orange director of communications Stuart Jackson has been heading up the phone firm's in-house team and met with stakeholders and the media last night and this morning.
A T-Mobile spokesman said it had been handling media calls in relation to the story in-house.
Both phone companies have released identical statements.
The Orange team has also had support from France Telecom's retained financial agency Holloway & Associates.
The merger is the second large corporate M&A story in two days, after Kraft Food's £10.2bn takeover proposal for Cadbury broke yesterday.
Brunswick is handling the PR for US food giant Kraft, while Finsbury is engaged by Cadbury.