Hutchison to sell one-third stake in British telecom biz for $4.3 bn

Hutchison Whampoa is planning to sell a one-third stake in its British telecom business for $4.3 billion to five investors, Reuters reported.

Singapore’s GIC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will each invest $1.7 billion into the deal. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Brazilian investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec are the other investors, said Hutchison in a securities filing. Hutchison did not reveal their investments details.

The telecom deal value could grow by nearly $500 million if the O2 mobile phone business meets performance targets, Hutchison added.

In January, Hutchison, owned by billionaire Li Ka-shing, agreed to buy Telefonica’s British mobile unit O2 for nearly $15.4 billion and merge it with its UK subsidiary to create the top mobile operator in the country.

The Hong Kong conglomerate took 6 billion pound bank loan to finance the purchase of the O2 UK business. At that time, Hutchison indicated that it will sell a minority stake to private equity funds.

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