The bid to acquire a 75 per cent stake in Spanish operator Yoigo held by Telia is reaching a critical phase.

Local MVNO Masmovil and UK investment firm Zegona are going head to head, reports Expansion.

Zegona has warned Telia that it will not wait any longer for agreement to be reached for the sale. Unless the sale is closed over the next few days, then the investment fund will leave the process, it warned.

Meanwhile Telia wants to be certain before Zegona drops out that the rival bid from Masmovil is guaranteed to be higher. The latter is thought to be in excess of €700 million, including 100 per cent of Yoigo’s equity plus debt.

In contrast, Zegona’s offer is inferior at around €550 million, including debt, but has the advantage of being fully guaranteed with the backing of Goldman Sachs, which has lined up banks to fund the bid. Masmovil’s bid is not guaranteed to the same extent.

This leaves Telia in a dilemma since it wants to give Masmovil more time to secure its offer because it is superior but is not willing to wait indefinitely.

Yoigo is Spain’s smallest operator, trailing rivals Movistar (Telefonica), Orange and Vodafone with just a 7 per cent market share (3.3 million mobile connections).