Vodafone is thought to have made a non-binding offer for KPN Mobile's Spanish MVNO subsidiary, according to multiple reports.
The deal could see Vodafone acquiring the KPN MVNO, branded Simyo, for a price suggested by analysts of around €40 million, according to a report in the Spanish newspaper, El Economista, which cited unnamed sources. Citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, Reuters also reported that KPN had opened its books on its Spanish operations to other operators, inducing Vodafone. Both Vodafone and KPN have not commented on the rumours.
In May KPN CEO Eelco Blok said he would cut poor performing international operations and refocus the company towards Germany, Belgium and its Dutch domestic market. However, Blok added that he planned to expand KPN's low-cost prepaid Ortel subsidiary which targets immigrants in Germany and Benelux.
"A sale of Spain (and France) fits within the strategy to refocus the international mobile activities," Victor Bareno, a SNS Securities analyst, told Reuters. "But with estimated proceeds of well below €100 million it is a relatively insignificant deal for KPN."
The report in El Economista suggested that Vodafone is the only company seriously interested in making a bid for Simyo, which has around 400,000 customers. The report said that that official sources have denied any interest from Orange Spain, claiming that the France Telecom subsidiary is already in a favourable market position and doesn't need to seek out acquisitions.
Telefónica is not seen as being able to bid due to regulatory hurdles and ongoing business performance issues within its Spanish telecoms operations.
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