[HONG KONG] Billionaire Li Ka-shing's CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd is considering taking O2 public after completing its acquisition of the British wireless carrier.
Co-managing director Canning Fok told the Financial Times in an interview that the company discussed an initial public offering of the combined business with external investors, though he didn't provide details such as the timeline or the deal size. Hans Leung, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for CK Hutchison, confirmed Mr Fok's comments but declined to elaborate.
An IPO of the combined UK wireless business would add to the flurry of deals Hong Kong's richest man has pursued recently. Aside from the O2 purchase, this year Mr Li announced a merger of his two biggest companies, a buyout of its electricity arm and a combination of his Italian telecommunications business with that of VimpelCom Ltd.
European regulators are scheduled to decide by Oct 16 whether to approve the O2 deal, which would create Britain's largest mobile-phone operator by subscribers. Mr Li attracted investors from Singapore, Canada and the United Arab Emirates to buy O2 for more than 10 billion pounds (S$21.8 billion), part of an overhaul of his business empire before he hands the reins to his eldest son Victor Li.