BT confirms it's in talks to buy back O2, but could also purchase EE

BT in talks to buy O2
Up for grabs

Update 11/26: It has now emerged that Deutsche Telekom and Orange, joint shareholders of EE, have been in preliminary exploratory discussions with BT regarding EE. According to a press release on Orange's website, it is too early to state whether any transaction may occur.

It looks like BT might not just be eyeing up O2 as a potential purchase.

Original story follows…

BT is in talks to purchase the O2 mobile network from its Spanish parent company Telefonica in a deal valued at around £10bn.

The company confirmed reports that appeared in Spanish media stating that Telefonica would take a 20 per cent stake in BT in exchange for O2.

"We have received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, of which one is O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business," BT said in a statement.

Highly preliminary stage

"All discussions are at a highly preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that any transaction will occur."

The O2 network was original BT Cellnet before being spun off in 2001 and then sold to Telefonica in 2005. As a result of the announcement, BT's share price rose by four per cent.

The second mobile network BT claims to have been approached by is believed to be EE, although this hasn't been confirmed by either party.