[London, ENGLAND] Hutchison
announced Wednesday it will sell some of its mobile phone holdings to
DoCoMo and Holland’s KPN Mobile in a joint effort to capture a share of
third generation (3G) mobile market.
“Europe will be next after Japan to implement UMTS and will provide an
for us to leverage our technology and experience to successfully develop new
businesses on the global scene,” said NTT DoCoMo’s President Dr. Keiji
In the U.K., Hutchison said it would sell 20 per cent of Hutchison 3G UK
Holdings Limited to NTT DoCoMo for $1.8 billion and 15 percent to KPN
Mobile for $1.35 billion, retaining 65 percent of its previously wholly-owned
The deal includes a payment of $75 million to Telesystem International
for not exercising an option to take a minority stake in the company at this
NTT DoCoMo will appoint three directors, KPN Mobile two directors and
seven directors of the new Hutchson 3G.
In Germany, Hutchison and KPN Mobile will form a new consortium named
E-Plus-Hutchison, with the aim of bidding in the German Universal Mobile
Telecommunications Service (UMTS) licence auction at the end of July. If the
bid succeeds, the consortium will build a UMTS network to be used separately
and competitively by both Hutchison and E-Plus.
In France, KPN Mobile and NTT DoCoMo will co-operate in the French UMTS
award process and say they are in discussions with key strategic French
In Belgium, Hutchison and KPN Mobile will be working together, again by
forming a joint bidding consortium to take part in the Belgian UMTS licence
award process. No decision has been taken about the exact business model to
be followed, but the options include an integrated network and operator
company and a single network company with independent operators.
By clubbing together in the bidding process, the participants hope to
avoid the worst effects of escalating prices suffered by Vodafone, BT
and other companies that took part in the recent U.K. auctions for
third-generation wireless licences. Hutchison 3G UK Holdings was
obliged to pay $6.6 billion for its British UMTS licence in April
In May, NTT DoCoMo announced it was acquiring a 15 percent
equity stake in KPN Mobile for around $6 billion. Terms of this deal
have now been finalized.