I'm not entirely sure what to make of this potential news. According to a report posted on Cellular News today, analysts Merryl Lynch are speculating that Hutchison 3G may withdraw entirely from Europe, suggesting that a sale of the company may be imminent.
Whilst Hutchison have not had a good run of it being 3G pioneers, the company's fortunes seem on the rise with recent changes to their services, and the opening up of cross-network access support, and the UK arm's See Me TV has proven particularly popular.
Merrill Lynch believes that H3G has a number of exit options, including the possibility of swapping its various network and customer base assets for small stakes in the main European operators, or a sale entire to Vodafone. This would allow H3G to benefit from its tax credits and avoid crystallising a loss now, arguably near the bottom of the telecom valuation cycle. The company would also benefit from shareholdings in network operators who themselves would benefit from lowered competition.