CK Hutchison is considering whether to keep Three and O2 as separate entities even if the merger of the two businesses in the UK get the regulatory green light.
The parent of Three UK is looking at the option as uncertainty remains whether its acquisition will get the go ahead from Brussels.
The move would see it sell a stake in Three UK to a new investor with a view to reducing the cash investment required to fund the acquisition.
Should this proceed, Hutch said it would look to maintain “the continuity and separation” of the Three and O2 businesses.
A decision on the merger is expected next month, but Hutch’s latest move is the second major intervention it has made in the past six weeks.
Last month, it promised not to raise prices and sell parts of its network to rivals after the UK regulator raised its own concerns about the tie-up.
The news came as Hutch revealed its financial results for 2015.
Reported revenues for Three’s operations across Europe fell four percent to HK$62.8 billion due to currency headwinds and falling handset revenues.
However, when measured in local currencies, turnover grew 10 percent as revenues increased in all six markets in which it is active.
The UK, for example, saw sales rise six percent as subscribers continued to increase data usage.
Reported earnings grew 12 percent to HK$17.4 billion thanks to a number of factors.
Hutch said Three UK benefitted from further improvements in net customer service margin, while “continued cost synergies” were realised in Austria.
Overall, the Group’s active customer base in Europe increased four percent to reach 26.1 million.