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Sale of 50 million Orange plc shares by Hutchison Whampoa Limited

Orange plc remains core long-term holding

25 February, 1999

Hutchison Whampoa Limited today (25 February) announced that it has entered into an agreement with Goldman Sachs for the sale of 50 million Ordinary Shares in Orange plc for approximately HK$5.28 billion. Orange is a public limited company incorporated under the laws of England and Wales, with its Ordinary Shares traded on the London Stock Exchange and American Depository Shares representing Ordinary Shares quoted on the Nasdaq National Market.

The transaction will result in an exceptional profit of approximately HK$5 billion. The proceeds, which will be retained for general corporate purposes, will further enhance Hutchison's already strong financial position. "We are very well-positioned to capitalize on future investment opportunities," said Mr Canning Fok, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Whampoa Limited and Chairman of Orange.

Prior to today's action, Hutchison held 49.01% in Orange. Following the sale, Hutchison remains the largest shareholder in Orange with a holding of approximately 44.8%.

"Orange is an excellent investment for Hutchison. This sale enables us to realise a portion of our financial return on our investment in Orange, whilst at the same time ensures that we continue to maintain a substantial shareholding position of almost 45% in the future." Mr Fok added " Orange will continue to represent Hutchison's telecommunications arm for expansion into Europe and a core long-term holding. We are committed to maintaining our long-term shareholding in Orange at this level as we expect continued strong growth in the UK and European cellular markets. Orange is extremely well-positioned to capitalize on this growth."

"We have been very pleased with the progress made by Orange and the performance of the management team in the last five years. We have great confidence in Orange's continued ability to drive Orange's market share in cellular services in the UK and in other key markets in Europe," said Fok.

"Hutchison has been extremely supportive since the founding of Orange and will continue as Orange's major shareholder. We look forward to the continued contribution and support of Hutchison as Orange pursues its strategic objectives," said Hans Snook, Group Managing Director of Orange.

The shares referred to herein have not been registered under the United States Securities Acts of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.


For further information, please contact:

Hutchison Whampoa Limited
Laura Cheung
Tel:  (852) 2128 1289