Mexican operator América Móvil has emerged as the leading contender to acquire the Spanish service provider Yoigo, according to a report in Spanish newspaper Expansion.
Yoigo, which is Spain's fourth-largest mobile operator, is being offered for sale by Swedish operator TeliaSonera, which has recently put its controlling stake on the market.
Albeit that América Móvil has recently stated that its focus is on managing its recent footholds in Europe—KPN and Telekom Austria—it has shown notable interest in becoming involved in the Spanish market for several years.
América Móvil may be the leader in the race for Yoigo, which might attract bids of around €1 billion, since other operators may be hindered by Spanish spectrum licensing restrictions.
While Telefónica's Movistar, Vodafone and France Telecom Orange are said to be interested in bidding for Yoigo, the 3G licence issued to the operator in 2000 prohibits any existing 3G licence holder from owning or controlling a second licence. This could effectively exclude Movistar, Vodafone and Orange from becoming involved, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Separately, América Móvil has been granted approval by the Austrian regulator to purchase a larger holding in Telekom Austria, conceding that competition will not be impacted by this move. The Mexican firm currently owns 9.9 per cent of the Austrian operator, but wants to increase this to over 25 per cent by buying shares from an Austrian investor, according to Austria's FriedlNews.
- see this Expansion article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this FriedlNews article
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