CK Hutchison now owns Wind Tre at 100%

Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchison has agreed to pay €2.45 billion for the 50 per cent stake in Italian telecoms group Wind Tre that it does not already own, further consolidating the European mobile network holdings of the group founded by Li Ka-shing. The purchase of the stake from Amsterdam-based Veon will make CK Hutchison sole owner of the mobile operator, which was formed through the €20 billion merger in 2016 of VimpelCom’s Wind Telecomunicazioni and CK Hutchison’s 3 Italia. Hutchison’s move follows the launch in Italy of French budget operator Iliad in May with a package priced at €6 a month, one of the cheapest of its kind in Europe that was dubbed a “game changer” by analysts. This put further pressure on incumbents Telecom Italia, Vodafone and Wind, which was seen as the most exposed to Iliad’s move as its customer base is skewed towards bargain hunters… CK Hutchison said yesterday that its original 50 per cent stake in Wind had contributed more than €1 billion in attributable earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to the group. Veon said that it expected to book a net gain of about $1.1 billion on completion of the all-cash deal and would use the proceeds to pay off debt and reduce its leverage ratio. 
Don Weinland and Nic Fildes