Vodafone Group reportedly explored a possible acquisition of Masmovil, entering into talks with the three private equity funds which recently took a majority stake in the Spanish operator.
El Economista reported Vodafone had used financial intermediaries to look into a possible Masmovil buyout, in a deal which could be valued at €6 billion.
A tie-up would propel Vodafone Spain from its current third-place to the top spot in the market by connections, moving ahead of Orange’s local unit and current market leader Telefonica.
GSMA Intelligence figures show Vodafone had 13.6 million connections, including cellular IoT, in Q2, while Masmovil had 8.9 million.
Telefonica had 16.3 million and Orange 15.6 million.
Flipping for profit
The report comes just a week after Masmovil’s investors accepted a buyout offer from Lorca Telecom Bidco, a consortium comprising private equity funds Providence Equity, Cinven Capital Management and KKR Associates Europe.
Lorca Telecom Bidco acquired an 86.41 per cent stake of the company’s capital for €2.96 billion through a tender offer, and the three funds now plan to squeeze out the remaining minority holders before delisting the company in the next few weeks.
Vodafone wasted no time in testing the resolve of Masmovil’s new owners, which could stand to make a quick profit if a deal materialises.
El Economista sources believe the consortium could fetch around €6 billion for Masmovil, including €2 billion in debt.
But there could be some fallout over a Vodafone deal, after the original sale met with grumblings from major shareholders over the amount tabled.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back