Three UK to buy UK Broadband Limited for £300m

Posted February 08, 2017

Three has entered the UK broadband market after acquiring 4G internet provider UK Broadband in a deal worth £250 million.

According to the announcement, PCCW will sell its holdings of issued shares in Transvision Investments - which in turn holds all shares in UK Broadband, the United Kingdom broadband operator - to Hutchison 3G UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings. The firm has often touted this as being a better deal than fixed copper connections.

Three UK has announced it's acquisition of UK Broadband, the deal is expected to be finalised later this year following an offer of $373 million.

The CEO of Three, Dave Dyson, said: "UK Broadband gives us an opportunity to expand our ambition to provide high quality and great value internet connectivity for UK consumers". £50 million of the £250 million will be used as credit towards an MVNO agreement with Three. That means it'll pick up the company's 15,000 customers, but that's not the only benefit.

"Three remains in a precarious position as a mobile-only provider in a United Kingdom market rapidly evolving to multiplay services".

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PCCW will sell UK Broadband Ltd to Hutchison 3G UK Ltd in a deal that it expects will generate a gain of HK$1.3 billion ($167.59 million), the telecommunications group said in a filing to Hong Kong's stock exchange late on Monday.

Three has been particularly vocal about its belief that BT should be banned by Ofcom from bidding for any of the 3.4GHz spectrum up for grabs (it is already barred from the 2.3GHz auction set to be held at the same time).

It has since expanded to the Reading and Swindon areas, using regional spectrum licences it acquired in 2003.

Adding more spectrum is a priority for Three especially in the wake of its O2 merger attempt getting scuppered.

Kester Mann, principal analyst at CCS Insight, pointed out that much of the new spectrum being acquired by Three will not be compatible with most of today's mobile devices, which means it can not be put to immediate use. With demand for increasing chunks of spectrum globally it is likely that as part of continuing 4G enhancements or the yet to emerge 5G more devices will support these and a myriad of other bands.