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Tesco may sell its carrier business despite solid profits

by Jacob Kleinman | May 8, 2015May 8, 2015 4:00 pm PDT

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Tesco is reportedly planning to sell off its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business, according to a Financial Times report citing several anonymous insiders. The sale could be worth several hundred million British pounds.

Tesco Mobile currently brings in roughly £100 million ($154 million) for the retail giant each year. It serves about four percent of the U.K., making it one of the biggest MVNOs in the country. Tesco also splits the business 50/50 with British carrier O2, which provides the actual network.

It’s possible O2 could buy the business outright from Tesco, though it seems just as likely another firm use the opportunity to jumpstart its own MVNO. Then again, a big part of Tesco Mobile’s appeal is its brand, and the company also sells about 2 million phones per year through its Tesco Phone stores.

Tesco has been struggling overall, and recently reported an annual loss of over £6 billion. Selling off its MVNO could bring in some quick cash, but it may mean sacrificing future profits in the process.

FT

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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