BT kicked off its £1bn placing today, saying it would launch an underwritten accelerated bookbuilding process immediately to fund its £12.5bn acquisition of mobile operator EE.
BT had already announced plans to raise the funds when it confirmed the details of the acquisition last week.
BT said the £1bn placing would represent around three per cent of BT’s outstanding share capital, through the issuance of new ordinary shares.
“The placing is not conditional upon completion of the acquisition and if the acquisition does not complete, the placing proceeds will be retained by the company and used for general corporate purposes,” it said.
BT now faces a contested approval process to seal its status as Britain’s dominant communications company.
The deal will bring together BT’s 10 million retail customers and EE’s 24.5 million direct mobile subscribers.
Rivals have already called on regulators to intervene, wary that the fixed-line market leader and main infrastructure provider could abuse its position and reduce competition.
BT had spent the last few weeks in exclusive talks with the owners of EE, Orange and Deutsche Telekom, about a deal. The German and French companies will hold 12 per cent and four per cent stakes in BT, respectively.