Telefonica denies AT&T takeover approach

Telefonica denies AT&T takeover approach

17 JUN 2013

Following a report in Spanish newspaper El Mundo that AT&T made a takeover approach for Telefonica, which boosted its share price by nearly 4 per cent in early morning trading (17 June), the Spanish giant subsequently informed CNMV, Spain’s government agency for financial regulation, that no such approach was made.

According to the El Mundo report, citing unnamed sources, the Spanish government had apparently blocked AT&T’s €70 billion bid because it considers Telefonica to be “strategic” to Spain’s economy.

In Telefonica’s statement to CNMV, however, the Spanish incumbent is categorical in its denial, saying that it neither received an approach or any written indication of interest from the US wireless heavyweight.

According to a Bloomberg report, José Manuel Soria, Spain’s industry minister, also denied on Monday morning that he had any knowledge of an AT&T approach for Telefonica, but acknowledged that he had met with Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year.

“He told me he had an interest in Europe, but he didn’t say a single word to me on any interest in a bid for Telefonica,” Soria said in interview with a state-owned television channel today, quoted by Bloomberg.

Cristobal Montoro, treasury minister, has also denied paticipating in any government veto related to AT&T and Telefonica.

Author

Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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