Spanish giant Telefonica has refuted suggestions it is considering the sale of its EUR800 million (USD1.08 billion) Irish mobile operation, O2 Ireland, following a report in the Sunday Independent that the Irish business was quietly offered to a select group of trade buyers before Xmas. A spokesman for the Madrid-based firm said: ‘Telefonica confirms that its Irish business is not for sale.’ The paper links Hong Kong telecoms conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa with a possible bid for O2 Ireland. Hutch it says, is keen to expand its fast-growing 3 Ireland 3G mobile business. 3 Ireland declined to comment on the speculation.
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