Zegona still in running for Yoigo takeover - sources

Zegona remains in talks with the owners of Spanish operator Yoigo, with sources close to the deal suggesting that reports that the UK-based venture capital company had missed a key deadline for the submission of bids are inaccurate.

Reports in the Spanish media earlier this week said that Zegona missed last Friday's deadline to submit a bid because of funding problems. According to El Confidencial, Zegona rival Másmovil immediately rushed in with an offer of €550 million ($623 million) for Yoigo.

However, the sources indicated that Zegona would have the funds to complete a deal should an agreement be reached, and that the venture capital firm's position has not changed since it announced in March that it had entered into an exclusivity agreement with TeliaSonera in relation to Yoigo's acquisition.

TeliaSonera, which recently adopted the new name of Telia Company, confirmed in March that it was in exclusive talks with Zegona over a possible takeover of Yoigo.

The move followed months of speculation about the future of Spain's fourth-largest mobile operator after TeliaSonera indicated it was continuing to review its presence in the Spanish market. The company currently controls 76.6 per cent of Yoigo.

Previous reports suggested that bids were expected to be in the range of €500 million to €600 million. Quoting unnamed sources, Reuters previously said that Zegona had made the highest offer to buy Yoigo.

Másmovil has been seen as the more likely contender since a merger of the two companies would create a new fixed-mobile player on the market: the MVNO acquired some of Jazztel's assets when the fixed operator was bought by Orange Spain.

However, Zegona -- which was established by two former Virgin Media executives to execute a 'buy-fix-sell' strategy in the European technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector -- also now owns fixed assets in Spain after buying cable operator Telecable there last year.

In 2014 TeliaSonera noted that its Spanish business remained sub-scale with a market share of around 7 per cent. Yoigo has struggled to make headway on the market despite an aggressive, low-cost approach.

For more:
- see this statement from Zegona in March (limited to certain regions)
- see this El Confidencial article (in Spanish)

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