Orange Spain and Masmovil completed a joint venture with the newly-created entity officially entering into operation, forming an operator the pair claimed has the largest customer base in the country.

In a joint statement, Orange and Masmovil explained they now operate as a single legal entity with a combined mobile and broadband customer base of more than 37 million. Meinrad Spenger, CEO at Masmovil was appointed in the same role of the new organisation, while CEO at Orange France Jean-Francois Fallacher was named as non-executive chairman.

The companies also revised estimates, with synergies of more than €490 million expected annually by the fourth year of the deal’s completion. This has changed from previously stated guidance of more than €450 million over the same period. Respective proceeds at closing amount to approximately €4.4 billion for Orange and €1.6 billion for Masmovil’s shareholders.

Orange and Masmovil are entitled to “equal governance rights” in the new entity, which the duo described as “a sustainable player with the financial capacity to continue investing in next-generation networks for the benefit of the market, consumers and enterprises in Spain”.

Alberto Castaneda, non-executive secretary of Masmovil’s board of directors has been appointed as secretary of the JV’s board. Ludovic Pech, CEO at Orange Spain, was named CFO and German Lopez, GM at Masmovil, joined as COO.

CEO at Orange Group Christel Heydemann noted the deal marks “an important stepping-stone in the deployment of Orange’s long-term strategic plan in Europe”, adding this will boost “innovation and investment in high-speed broadband and digital services in Spain”.

“This is clearly a positive step forward in our overall vision for a strong and thriving telecoms industry in Europe,” added Heydemann.

Announcement of the deal’s completion came two weeks after the Spanish government gave its approval. The European Commission (EC) gave its nod in February.