O2 may float after tie-up deal with rival firm collapses
The Spanish owner of O2 said it may float the British mobile network after seeing a tie-up with rival operator 3 collapse.
Telefonica said it had started exploring strategic options for the UK business, including the possibility of an initial public offering (IPO).
But it said it would continue to hold a majority shareholding in the business if any such move took place.
The update comes as Telefonica announced it would also float infrastructure subsidiary Telxius Telecom in the second half of this year. It will be listed on the Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia stock exchanges and also be included on the Spanish Continuous Market.
The European Commission formally blocked Hong Kong-based mobile operator CK Hutchison, which owns 3, from pushing through a £10.3bn takeover of O2 in May.