Three has entered into an agreement with Telefonica to buy its O2 business in Ireland for €780m. A further additional deferred payment of €70m is payable dependent upon achievement of agreed financial targets. The acquisition of O2 will take Three's market share to 37.5% and bring subscriber numbers to 2m active users. The two companies had combined revenues of €803m in 2012, which compares to Three's revenue of €174m in 2012 on a standalone basis.
Commenting on the deal Robert Finnegan, CEO of Three Ireland said, “Three is very pleased to have agreed to acquire O2 Ireland, a business whose strengths complement ours very well. Since market entry in 2005, Three Ireland has grown organically through innovation, competitive pricing and quality customer offerings. As an ambitious competitor in the market we have been looking at ways to increase customer numbers and grow market share, and acquisition was the natural next step.
“Our combined 37.5% market share gives us the scale and financial strength to compete even more aggressively in the market to the benefit of consumers. Our ability to invest coupled with the combined subscriber base will create new competitive dynamics in the Irish telecoms market."
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