BT, Telenor Work Out Esat Digifone Details

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/.

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