Telefonica buys UK’s O2 for £18bn

Mobile phone group O2 has agreed a takeover offer from Spanish telecom company Telefonica.

Telefonica is to pay £17.7bn in cash for the firm in order to get a foothold in two of Europe’s largest mobile phone markets – the UK and Germany. O2 is Europe’s sixth largest mobile phone group

Under the deal, the Spanish group will pay 200 pence per share, a 22% premium on Friday’s closing price of 164.25p.

Earlier this year Telefonica snapped up a controlling 51% stake in Czech phone firm Cesky Telecom for £1.9bn.