Airwave snapped up for Eur3bn

Australian investment bank Macquarie has bought Telefonica O2’s emergency services unit, Airwave, for Eur2.982bn in cash.

The UK-based operation will come under the ownership of Guardian Digital Communications, a new company wholly owned by two Macquarie investment funds managed by Macquarie.

The Australian firm said it is taking a long term view of the investments and has specifically committed to retain ownership of the Airwave business for a minimum of 10 years and will support the existing business plan which includes continuing the growth of Airwave.

Airwave infrastructure is used by the police, ambulance and fire and rescue services, and operates the world’s largest Tetra network serving over 200,000 emergency service users.

However, the investment bank caused outcry on Thursday morning as it revealed plans to close the final salary pension scheme of Airwave staff. The company employs around 700 people.

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