Hutchison Whampoa began talks with Telefonica to buy carrier O2 UK in January. The companies have finally reached an agreement for a sum of £10.3 billion, of course pending an approval from regulators.
Hutchison Whampoa already owns Three UK. If the deal goes through, the combined company will overtake the current biggest UK carrier, EE, and achieve around 40% market share and 33 million customers. Hutchison bought Telefonica's O2 Ireland in 2013 for €780 million.
The company says that regulatory approval may take up to a year so it will be a while before the deal goes through. £9.25 billion will be paid first, while the final £1 billion is subject to certain agreed-upon performance metrics from O2.
EE, which itself is a merger of Orange and T-Mobile, was recently acquired by BT for $19 billion.