Demise of Orange Wednesdays to pave way for sale to BT?
Orange Wednesdays will soon be a memory, as EE is to drop the 2 for 1 discount on cinema tickets in late February 2015. This long running offer is vanishing because apparently our viewing habits have changed, though hard to tell from the box office receipts of the big films. Two years ago EE/Orange previously upset long term customers by ending its free fixed line broadband for mobile customers.
The stalking behaviour of BT in the mobile market may be most likely reason, since clearing out complex legacy deals ahead of a sell-off could smooth out negotiations. CityAM is suggesting that we will very soon find out the result of the BT mobile game.
BT if it is in the market to acquire a mobile operator valued in the £9bn to £11bn region is treading on thin ice, since with the numerous BDUK projects it is receiving gap funding of around £1bn to improve superfast broadband availability beyond the two thirds of the country that shareholders were comfortable financing on their own. If somehow BT was able to appear with a few billion in used notes to pay for a mobile operator a reduction in the level of gap funding but a continued commitment to hit the various broadband contract targets may be handed down by the Government. This might be avoided if the mobile purchase was not funded by cash but debt, this still raises serious questions over why was BT not able to finance more fibre based broadband roll-out via debt.