The agony of AOL UK’s access business is over: it has been sold: Carphone Warehouse, Europe’s largest mobile retailer, for 370 million pounds ($687 million). This would give it a broadband customer base of about 2 million users, making it the third-largest broadband provider in the U.K.
Other details of the deal:
— Completion is subject to EU competition authority clearance and is expected to take place by 31 December 2006.
— Funded via an extension of existing debt facilities
— AOL will provide a co-branded portal, content and other audience services and will manage the online ad sales for CPW’s combined broadband customer base through a revenue-sharing agreement.
— In 2005, the assets to be acquired generated revenues of about $820 million and an operating profit of $26 million. Gross assets at December 2005 were $145 million.
— In April, CPW launched started offering free broadband to its voice customers, and has about 625,000 applications for this service over the last six months, even though there have been major glitches in the service.
Also, CPW had some updated guidance on its broadband numbers… read this Guardian story: “Broadband costs mount for Carphone Warehouse “