British Telecommunications PLC (BT) and Norway's Telenor AS have come to an agreement over the final sticking point for BT's acquisition of the Irish telecommunications company Esat Telecom Group PLC -- Esat's mobile phone division, Esat Digifone, BT announced today.
BT made a US$2.46 billion "white knight" bid for Ireland's second largest telecommunications company earlier in the week, outbidding Telenor's $1.6 billion offer. [See "BT to Buy Irish Telco Esat, Telenor Backs Off," Dec. 12.]The issue that remained unresolved between BT and Telenor was the Norwegian company's 49.5 percent ownership of Esat Digifone against BT's 1 percent stake.
It has now been agreed between the two companies that Telenor will have the option to swap its stake in Esat Digifone for a 33 percent stake in Esat Telecom proper, BT said in a statement.
According to the terms of the agreement, Telenor may also opt to sell its share in Esat Digifone back to Esat for $1.24 billion, BT said.
British Telecommunications, in London, can be contacted at +44-171-356-5000 or at http://www.bt.com. Esat Telecom, in Dublin, is at +353-1-661-6010, or http://www.esat.ie/. Telenor, in Oslo, Norway, is at +47-22-77-6060, or http://telenor.com/.