Vodafone reaches preliminary deal for Ono — report

Vodafone reaches preliminary deal for Ono — report

10 MAR 2014

Vodafone reached a preliminary deal to acquire Spanish cable operator Ono after submitting an improved offer, according to Reuters.

A source said a meeting between Ono’s shareholders and Vodafone CEO Vittorio Collao was held last week, with due diligence expected to have started over the weekend to make the offer binding.

Ono appeared to snub a previous €7 billion bid from Vodafone after the company’s board failed to discuss it in a meeting in February, and instead discussed how it could progress to an IPO.

Sources said Ono’s private-equity shareholders would only consider a bid that was substantially higher than the original bid to stop pursuing the IPO route.

Another source said Vodafone was informed at last week’s meeting with shareholders that it would need to submit any revised offer before 13 March as that was the date Ono planned to formally list on the stock exchange in Madrid.

The acquisition of Ono would bolster Vodafone’s quad-play strategy in Europe, in which it is looking to offer fixed and mobile services, along with broadband and TV.

It acquired German cable provider Kabel Deutschland for €7.7 billion last year and faces competition from Liberty Global for European cable assets.

Vodafone Group has cash to spare after it sold its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion to Verizon Communications.

Vodafone’s Colao recently said the group has the ability to spend between $30 billion and $40 billion on acquisitions over the next few years.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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