Vodafone in talks over MasMovil takeover: El Economista

UK telecommunications giant Vodafone has entered discussions over the potential acquisition of Spanish peer MasMovil, according to El Economista.

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Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the paper said negotiations are taking place for a deal which could value the target at EUR 6.00 billion, including debt.

None of the parties have commented on the report at this time.

Should a deal go ahead at the EUR 6.00 billion valuation suggested, the buyout would be the fourth-largest transaction targeting a telecommunications firm to have been announced worldwide during 2020 to date, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

The most valuable at present is the merger of o2 and Virgin Media, worth an estimated GBP 31.40 billion.

MasMovil is currently primarily owned by private equity players KKR, Cinven and Providence.

In June, KKR and Cinven, via Lorca Telecom Bidco, launched a EUR 22.50 per share takeover approach for the company.

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Under the terms of that deal, MasMovil can be valued at EUR 2.96 billion.

As a consequence of that transaction, KKR, Cinven and Providence now own the majority of the stock, with acceptances having been received for an 86.0 per cent stake, and intend to delist the business at some point in early November.

MasMovil claims to be the fourth-largest telecommunications operator in Spain.

The company operates under a number of brands, including the likes of Yoigo, Pepephone, Llamaya and Lebara, and reached 18.00 million households with ADSL and 24.40 million with optical fibre via its fixed network.

Its customer base numbers over 10.50 million.

MasMovil has itself been active as an acquiror this year; in June, it completed a EUR 361.00 million purchase of the Spanish unit of UK mobile virtual network operator Lycamobile, which had previously been announced in March.

In April, the group agreed to pick up the remaining 49.9 per cent stake it did not already own in Spanish telecoms player Spotting Developments for an undisclosed consideration.

MasMovil posted revenue of EUR 1.68 billion in 2019, up from EUR 1.45 billion over the preceding 12 months.

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