Britain's biggest mobile operator, Everything Everywhere (London, England), is planning to pay back $1.4 billion of loans to its two parent companies -France Telecom (Paris, France) and Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany)- in a step towards making itself a wholly independent operation, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
The newspaper cited bankers close to the process as saying the group has lined up seven banks to lend it the money to carry out the move. If the facility gets final approval, it could be one of the largest new borrowing facilities in the UK this year, according to the FT.
The bankers cited in the article said the mobile operator, jointly owned by Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, will also use the relationship with the banks to help it tap the bond market next year to raise as much as $1.2 billion for future corporate investment.
The FT said the moves are likely to feed rumors about the eventual exit of the two shareholders through an initial public offering of shares or a sale, though there is no suggestion that either is in negotiations at present.
In the United Kingdom, Everything Everywhere operates under the brands T-Mobile and Orange. According to the FT report, Everything Everywhere was funded by Deutsche Telecom and France Telecom using $1.7 billion in loans, and is expected to fall to $546 million after planned financing.