Virgin Group reportedly held talks with TeliaSonera-controlled Yoigo, Spain’s fourth-largest operator, as the country’s mobile market becomes more about quadplay rather than just mobile services.
According to El Economista, the MVNO operator is being advised by Juan Villalonga, an industry heavyweight who is a former CEO of Telefonica and now advises Virgin Mobile Latin America (VMLA).
Numerous suitors have studied Yoigo in the past but passed up the opportunity, not least because of differences about valuation with majority stakeholder TeliaSonera.
Now, however, the competitive landscape has changed around Yoigo, as larger rivals Vodafone and Orange have acquired fixed networks to offer quadplay services in competition with incumbent Telefonica.
Most recently, Orange completed the acquisition of Jazztel, although under certain conditions imposed by the European Commission.
Orange has to sell Jazztel’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network which overlaps with its own infrastructure in Spain, as well as enabling the purchaser to have wholesale to Jazztel’s national ADSL network for up to eight years. Orange must also offer wholesale access to its 4G network.
These disposals present an opportunity for a fourth convergent operator to emerge in Spain, and cast Yoigo in a new light.
Virgin was not available to comment, while TeliaSonera and Yoigo declined to make any comment about a possible sale.