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Euronews: Vodafone Homes In On ONO

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson upgrades in Greece; Deutsche Telekom takes control of Czech unit; Telefónica fined on its home turf.

  • The rumored bid by Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) for Spanish cable operator ONO is looking increasingly likely to happen, according to a Bloomberg report. According to unnamed sources, Vodafone has sounded out ONO's principal shareholders about a possible bid, and the cable company -- which has already been the subject of interest from Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) -- is due to meet this week to discuss a possible sale or IPO. (See Euronews: Rivals Set for Cable Asset Battle.)

  • Greek mobile operator Wind Hellas Telecommunications S.A. has completed an upgrade of its mobile packet core with technology from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), which installed its Evolved Packet Gateway. Legacy packet network systems were replaced and all subscribers migrated to a single "multifunctional platform suite."

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is to take full control of its T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. unit, paying €800 million (US$1.1 billion) for the 39.23% stake it doesn't already own. In a press release announcing the move, Deutsche Telekom board member Claudia Nemat said the move "supports our transformation into the leading integrated Pan-European operator."

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has been fined €500,000 by the Spanish regulator for what were described as "very serious" breaches of domestic competition rules, reports Reuters. The operator was late in notifying the competition authority about the prices and terms of new broadband and TV bundles, and blocked access to 11 premium text message numbers being run by a rival.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/11/2014 | 2:00:10 PM
    Re: Vodafone-ONO
    I think Vodafone has deeper pockets and a better competitive reason to snap ONO up, but John Malone clearly wants to expand Liberty's Euro presence, so could his ambition trump some of that? 
    User Rank: Light Beer
    2/10/2014 | 11:02:44 PM
    Re: Vodafone-ONO
    @albreznick: Well two good companies and I feel there will be a very tough battle between the 2. Anyway is there any signs of such an act mate? Assuming if something like that happens I feel Vodafone will have the slightest edge since they have a better and a clear cut market share than its opponent. Any thoughts from other members in the community on this ? 
    User Rank: Blogger
    2/10/2014 | 9:03:13 PM
    Re: Vodafone-ONO
    I'm very curious too, Tara. Think a bidding war break out here between Vodafone and Liberty Global? And, if so, who do you think will win it?


    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/10/2014 | 4:50:34 PM
    Reuters reported a couple of weeks ago that Voda was in talks with ONO for a possible acquisition--so it's now official? Hmmm. The question is, is it a more attractive suitor and could it bid more than Liberty Global, which is also in the hunt? After all, Vodafone is set for a $130 billion cash injection from selling its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless back to Verizon Communications. 

    ONO's shareholders are mostly US-based private-equity firms and the IPO market seems hot right now in the European cable sector, so I'm curious to see how this turns out...
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