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Some four years after we de-merged from BT, O2 de-listed from the London Stock Exchange in March 2006, having been acquired by Telefónica, S.A.
In just over four years, O2 had an award-winning brand and increased its customer base by almost 12 million to 28 million.
We expect to achieve this through improvements in service quality, new value-added propositions, investment in customer service training and continued deployment of loyalty programmes.
We are convinced that our relationship with Telefónica will be a great success. Nevertheless, such deals inevitably create short-term uncertainty for employees and can disrupt existing plans to improve the working environment.
We saw it as essential that employees were informed about the takeover and what it meant for them. We were also keen to stress that our main operations would not be affected.
Our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter Erksine was appointed to the main board of Telefónica, a move we hope reassured employees that O2 would continue as an autonomous business within the enlarged Group.
Telefónica also made it clear that - in acquiring O2 – they believed they had bought a well-performing business driven by a top-class management team.
The terms and conditions of our workforce remain unchanged and we have asked our employees to continue doing what they do best – providing memorable and responsible mobile products and services that our customers want and appreciate.
In addition, we made sure that our employees in our sharesave scheme benefited as much as possible from the deal, going so far as to arrange compensation at the full deal price for sharesave options that could not be exercised. We believe it is our 16,205 employees* who make O2 a successful business and that our acquisition is a tribute to their hard work and skills.
* FTE - Full-Time Equivalent - 31 January 2006
“We are not short of ambition at O2. If we continue to work together as a team, we can genuinely aspire to become the most successful mobile operator in Europe.”