Vodafone Group Plc seeks to buy Spain’s Grupo Corporativo ONO

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

London, United Kingdom (4E) – Vodafone Group Plc is looking to buy Spanish cable operator Grupo Corporativo ONO SA, which is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO), according to a Bloomberg News report citing two people familiar with the discussions.

The purchase of ONO would be part of Vodafone’s plan to push into services like high-speed Internet and television across Europe, the report said.

Last year, the Newbury, England-based Vodafone agreed to sell its stake in U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless to its joint venture partner Verizon Communications Inc., which will result to a windfall of $130bn upon completion.

ONO offers fixed telecommunications in Spain, such as fixed telephony, pay TV and broadband, as well as mobile telecom services. ONO is the only Spanish fiber operator with nationwide coverage that offers services to both home and business customers.

ONO has faced stiff competition from its rivals such as Spain’s biggest phone company Telefonica SA and Jazztel Plc over pricing.

ONO posted net profit of 52mn euros on revenues of 1.57bn euros in 2012. A potential sale to Vodafone may disrupt its planned IPO that could value the company at around 6.4bn euros ($8.7bn), including debt.

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