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BT to shut EE headquarters in cost-cutting drive

Britain’s biggest mobile operator, EE, will abandon its headquarters to move into BT’s nerve centre at St Paul’s later this year, its chief executive has confirmed.

Marc Allera told The Telegraph that EE was making preparations to move from its offices in the Paddington Basin to occupy multiple floors in BT Centre, overlooking Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece cathedral.

The migration is at the heart of plans by BT to save £360m a year following the completion of its £12.5bn takeover of EE and its 13,000 staff, in February. Mr Allera, promoted from EE’s commercial chief to the top job as part of the integration, said it would also help the two operators design ‘converged’ packages of broadband, mobile and television services under the same roof.

As part of a full interview to be published in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Allera said: “We’re going to be moving to BT Centre by the end of the year, if all goes well.

“I can look at a number of examples of where we are collaborating really well with our BT colleagues. That’s going to be a lot easier in the same building.

“We’ve already announced that we’ll be bringing BT Sport to EE customers, for example.

“While moving offices can be disruptive, the benefits are going to outweigh the hassle of a slightly longer commute for some people and a shorter one for others.”

EE, created six years ago by the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, currently occupies a £210m Tishman Speyer-owned glass and steel building called The Point, constructed in the early 2000s as part of the regeneration of the canal basin by Paddington railway station.

The 10-storey BT Centre was meanwhile commissioned when BT was still part of the Post Office in 1980 and built on the site of the Old Central Telegraph Office.

BT’s return as a mobile operator unleashed a wave of deal-making in the sector last year, as rivals scrambled to respond amid fears of the former state-owned monopoly’s increasing financial firepower. However, an attempted merger of Three and O2 was blocked by European competition watchdogs last month and Sky has pushed back its plans for a mobile service to the second half of this year while it focuses on other product launches.

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