So after many attempts O2 has found someone to buy them. Today Telefonica agreed to take control of O2 for £18billion.
Looking at the deal you have to say that the price has a strategic premium to it. In talking with others today once the news had broken the question is can Telefonica pull this purchase off?
Todate the Spanish have a very poor record on integrating businesses it had paid for rather than grown. What is needed is an executive team that will deliver benefits for Telefonica using the power of the worlds fifth biggest mobile firm. What Telefonica has done in buying O2 could well have killed the FreeMove group it created with T-Mobile, Orange and TIM.
Just how long are we going to see O2 survive as a brand, can we assume that just like Abbey, Telefonica will add their name once they complete the purchase in January 2006?
How much more are the Spanish prepared to invest in the network once they have bought it? At present O2 needs cash spent on speeding the launch of 3G services. As well as new services money also needs to be spent on developers so that customers can try products before they buy? Will we see the Labs return in Marlow and Ealing that O2 closed?
Just wonder what we can see in a years time once the deal is done and if for once Telefonica can find the people to make this work before the current O2 execs head for the hills with pockets full of cash?
UPDATE James Enck has posted his views on the deal, and like me he cannot see the value in such a purchase. Guess they guys in Madrid might like to spend money with the Strategy Houses rather than the Investment Banks!