British Sky Broadcasting Group plc has agreed to buy the O2 and BE consumer broadband and fixed-line telephone businesses from Telefónica UK. Adding these half a million customers will make Sky the second-largest provider of broadband in the UK.
Sky is paying Telefonica £180 million for the deal, with the option of an extra £20 million if the transfer runs smoothly. It currently has 4.2 million broadband customers and 4 million telephone customers.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Chief Executive, said “Sky has been the UK’s fastest-growing broadband and telephony provider since we entered the market six years ago. From a standing start in 2006, we have added more than 4.2 million broadband customers. The acquisition of Telefónica UK’s consumer broadband and fixed-line telephony business will help us accelerate this growth. We believe that the O2 and BE consumer broadband and telephony business is a great fit, with customers used to high-quality products and strong levels of customer service. We look forward to welcoming these new customers to Sky and giving them access to our wide range of high-quality products, great value and industry-leading customer service.”
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of April subject to regulatory clearance.