Vodafone mulls buying Spain's Yoigo as TeliaSonera considers options

Vodafone could be open to a second purchase in Spain following its recent acquisition of cable operator Ono, after TeliaSonera made it clear it is still looking at options for its Spanish unit Yoigo and may consider a sale of the business.

According to Reuters, TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind, who was speaking during the announcement of the company's first-quarter results this week, said the Nordic operator would have to sell Yoigo if the Spanish company is unable to increase its market share from the current 7 per cent. Yoigo, the fourth-largest operator in Spain, is estimated to be worth between €1 billion ($1.4 billion) and €1.5 billion.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao told Reuters that the group is obliged to look at everything, but added that "for something like Yoigo" Vodafone would first need to have a clear idea of the European Commission's stance on current planned mergers in the European Union.

Such deals include Telefónica's plan to buy German operator E-Plus from KPN, and Hutchison Whampoa's bid for O2 Ireland. The Commission is expected to announce its decision on both deals in June.

Vodafone recently agreed to buy Spanish cable operator Ono in a deal worth €7.2 billion in order to expand its fixed network assets in the country. Orange Spain is also rumoured to be interested in pursuing a similar strategy by buying fixed operator Jazztel.

Yoigo competes with Telefónica's Movistar, Vodafone Spain and Orange Spain in a market that has haemorrhaged subscribers in recent years due to a deep and sustained recession. Yoigo, which like its rivals now offers LTE services, also offers quad-play bundles of fixed and mobile services under the Fusion brand following an agreement with Movistar.

Under this agreement, Movistar is also using Yoigo's LTE network to enable it to offer LTE services as it builds out its own LTE network.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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