Three UK reportedly confirmed to be purchasing O2 for £10 billion

Update: Three UK owner Hutchison Whampoa has officially confirmed that the company has entered into exclusive negotiations with Telefonica over a potential purchase of O2.

Three UK, announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Telefónica, S.A. over a period of several weeks for the potential acquisition of Telefónica, S.A.'s UK subsidiary, O2 UK, for an indicative price in cash of £9.25 billion which would be paid at closing, and deferred upside interest sharing payments of up to a further £1 billion in the aggregate payable after the cumulative cash flow of the combined businesses of Hutchison 3G UK Limited and O2 UK has reached an agreed threshold.

Original story: We reported a few days ago that Three UK was looking to purchase O2 from Telefonica, and now the deal has reportedly been confirmed at a price of 10 billion pounds (roughly 15 billion US dollars) and is expected to be finalized Friday morning.

The report comes from The Financial Times, which says:

The deal to merge O2, Britain's second-biggest mobile operator, with Hutchison Whampoa's Three is expected to be announced as early as Friday morning, said two people familiar with the situation.

Previously, Telefonica was reportedly in talks to sell O2 to British Telecom. However, that deal is reported to have fallen through shortly before Christmas last year.

If true, this is sure to shake up the carrier market in the UK, as the deal would be akin to T-Mobile snatching up Sprint in the U.S.. We'll keep on top of this and report further as more details emerge.

Source: The Financial Times