GIC & Temasek among funds in race to pick stake in merged British telcos: Report

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and its state investment arm Temasek Holdings are among the leading global funds that are that are in the race to pick up to 30% stake in the merged British mobile phone giants – 02 and Three – a report said.

Telefonica that owns O2 and Three’s owner, Hutchison Whampoa, controlled by the Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, recently unveiled plans to merge the two entities.

As per the contours of the deal, Hutchison Whampoa will pay £9.25 billion in cash for Three , with an additional £1bn in deferred payments when the combined business hits certain cash flow targets.

“It is understood that sovereign wealth funds including the China Investment Corporation, Singapore’s Temasek and GIC, and one of Qatar’s big government-sponsored vehicles are in talks to provide a significant portion of the financing. The winning bidder would become a large investor in Britain’s largest mobile operator with up to a third of the shares,” said a report by Ben Marlow in The Telegraph.

Another report by Sky News said: “The discussions are at an early stage, but are said to include approaches from the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore and a number of giant Canadian pension funds.”

It is estimated that the combined entity of 02 and Hutchison’s Three will have an enterprise valuation of approximately £15bn post the merger, including debt to the tune of £6bn, and Hutchison has indicated that it is open to offloading 30% stake in the merged company to institutional investors.

“The deal is the second major transaction in the UK mobile sector in quick succession, with BT expected to finalise the terms of its £12.5bn takeover of EE – currently the country’s biggest network – in February,” the Sky News report added.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.