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Ono snubs Vodafone takeover offer in favour of IPO

The proposed acquisition would have strengthened Vodafone’s position in home broadband, TV and telephone market.
Written by Steve Evans, Contributor

Spanish cable operator Ono has confirmed that it is pushing ahead with IPO plans, snubbing a takeover offer from Vodafone in the process.

A statement from the Madrid-based company's board of directors confirmed that any potential takeover offer that may have been on the table was not even discussed at a board meeting held earlier this week.

"No purchase proposal by any company to acquire Ono was discussed [by the Board of Directors], nor was any other matter relating to this matter,” the statement said. Instead Ono's board and shareholders will meet again on 13 March to ratify plans to float on the stock market.

Vodafone has not commented to this latest development.

According to Bloomberg, Ono had been preparing an IPO when Vodafone first showed an interest in acquiring the firm in a deal that was rumoured to value the Spanish company at around €7bn. 

An acquisition by Vodafone would give the operator a foothold in the home broadband, TV, and telephone market, where Ono currently has around six million subscribers. It also has a small presence in the mobile space, using Telefonica's network to operate as an MVNO.

Adding home broadband, TV and telephone capabilities to Vodafone's Spanish arsenal would present a strong challenge to Telefonica, the country's largest telco.

The economic crisis in Spain means many operators have started to offer mobile, broadband, TV, and fixed-line telephone in one package, believing all-in-one bundles are more attractive to consumers who do not have a lot of money to spare.

For example, Telefonica and Yoigo announced a network sharing deal that would give both companies a boost, by giving Telefonica access to 4G while enabling Yoigo to offer home broadband services. However that deal is under investigation by Spanish competition authorities following complaints from rivals, including Vodafone.

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