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Hutchison Whampoa’s EUR 2-bln cash bid for Irish Eircom

May. 7, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Hutchison Whampoa Ltd<0013>, the ports-to-telecom conglomerate controlled by Hong Kong business giant Li Ka-shing, has resubmitted a EUR 2 billion cash bid for Eircom Ltd, a Ireland's debt-ridden fixed-line and mobile telecom company, to further expand its presence in Europe.

The Hong Kong-listed buyer made a bid earlier but was rejected by Eircom, as Hutchison Whampoa requested to handle the bankruptcy process. Eircom filed for bankruptcy protection in Ireland on Mar. 30.

The newly cash bid for Eircom has no conditions requested by Hutchison Whampoa.

Hutchison Whampoa, which has EUR 8 billion in cash, operates third-generation mobile business in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong, with 3G customer base rising 7% to more than 31.6 million last year.

In February, Hutchison Whampoa acquired entire equities of Orange Austria, Austria's third-largest mobile operator, from France Telecom SA and Mid Europa Partners for about EUR 1.3 billion, including debt, sources reported.

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