Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. agreed to buy Telefonica SA’s Irish unit for as much as 850 million euros ($1.1 billion), a year after failing to take over Ireland’s former phone monopoly Eircom Group.

Hutchison’s Three Ireland, the country’s third-largest wireless carrier, will pay 780 million euros in cash and an additional 70 million euros upon meeting certain performance targets, the companies said today. The combination with Telefonica’s O2, Ireland’s No. 2 mobile operator, will increase Hutchison’s customers to about 2 million and its wireless market share to 37.5 percent, the Hong Kong-based company said.

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