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Australian bank the latest suitor for Airwave?

Speculation continues...
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Speculation continues...

Acquisitive Australian bank Macquarie is interested in snapping up O2's emergency radio network business Airwave, according to a report in The Times.

The newspaper reports that Macquarie Communications Infrastructure could bid for the business, which could be valued at around £2bn.

Airwave is the secure digital radio network used by the UK emergency services and has recently been subject to speculation about its future. Its rollout was completed in March 2005 and it has around 150,000 users.

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Macquarie Bank has made a number of acquisitions in recent months, acquiring the London arm of Stagecoach Group's bus operations in August 2006 as well as Thames Water in October.

The bank is also heavily involved in a bid for Australian airline Qantas, although several bids for the London Stock Exchange in 2005 were rejected.

An O2 spokesman told silicon.com the company would not comment on the speculation.

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