Two months after entering exclusive negotiations, terms have been agreed to between Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom over the merging of their mobile operations in the UK. The companies said that the 50:50 joint-venture should produce savings in excess of €4 billion, generate revenues of €9.4 billion and EBITDA of €2.1 billion.
However, these costs savings are seemingly based on some far-reaching assumptions. The merger statement claimed that the Opex savings of €490 million per year from 2014 onwards were dependent on up to €880 million in integration costs over the period from 2010 to 2014, which relate mainly to the decommissioning of mobile sites, the rationalisation of the network of retail stores and the streamlining of operations.
The JV anticipates large scale Capex saving over the first five years due to the integration and unification of the networks and from jointly expanding 3G coverage. The potential for Capex savings, net of integration Capex, is estimated by the JV at €680 million on a cumulative basis over 2010-2014, prior to stabilising at approximately €110million a year from 2015 onwards.
The leadership of the new company, which will have over 28 million customers, has been fudged by having Tom Alexander, currently CEO of Orange UK, as CEO and Richard Moat, currently CEO of T-Mobile UK, as COO. The two brands will continue to operate separately for 18 months after which branding alternatives for the JV will be developed.
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