Reports have been trickling in since last November that Orange and Deutsche Telekom are planning an initial public offering for Everything Everywhere (EE), their wholely owned joint subsidiary in the UK. Most of the conversation was sparked by Orange’s CFO Gervais Pellissier, who stated last November that “there could be a place for an EE IPO in 2013,” though he assured that the two Telecom giants would maintain majority control over the company.
Now, with the hype at its peak, bidders have come forward and begun ‘accelerating’ discussions of an EE buyout worth £10 Billion, the Financial Times reports. Regardless of whether EE hits the public market or whether other interested parties get in on it, there’s no doubt that Deutsche Telekom and Orange have put themselves in great positions to make a lot of money with EE and other high-value assets in Europe and abroad.
Orange has done a great job at maintaining its stronghold in France despite Free Mobile’s penetration of the MNO market, and they’ve continued to push into Africa, the Middle East, and other markets with their new subsidiary Orange Horizons. While their position in the startup scene has rode a fine line between innovator and killer, there’s no doubt that they’ve played an integral role in the success of many French startups, including Dailymotion, who may not have seen the light of day in 2013 were in not for Orange’s acquisition.
Orange and Deutsche Telekom have also become the respective “Google’s” of their local ecosystems, supporting tech & startup events, award ceremonies, and accelerators – they’ve seen what’s coming in Europe, and they’ve gotten in front of it. A good sign that they’ll be around in 20 years.
As for EE – EE’s performed quite well in the UK, likely due to its connection to Orange, which, before being bought by France Telecom, was originally a UK mobile provider, and so has 15+ years experience in the UK mobile market.
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