Másmóvil, más clientes
It's hard not to be impressed by Másmóvil, Spain's fast-growing, fourth-largest operator.
COVID-19 seems to have barely laid a glove on H1, with net customer adds still growing at a healthy rate and full-year guidance still on track.
Broadband and mobile postpaid subscribers were up, year-on-year, by 39% and 17% respectively.
As of June 30, Másmóvil had 1.7 million broadband lines and 6 million mobile postpaid lines.
Mobile prepaid lines were up a massive 59% over the same period, although this number got a rocket boost from the completed acquisition of Lyca Spain (and its Lycamobile MVNO operation) last month.
Lycamobile, specializing in the prepaid segment, had around 1.5 million lines by the end of last year.
According to Fitch Ratings, in a recent research note, Másmóvil "consistently acquires the majority of net customer additions in fixed broadband and post-paid mobile accesses."
Growing popularity is helping turnover and firming up margins.
Másmóvil H1 service revenues were up 19%, year-on-year, to €817 million ($958 million), and its EBITDA margin was up nearly 350 basis points, to 31%.
H1 performance made the operator confident that "commercial plans will not be materially affected by COVID-19."
The operator confirmed its full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance of €570-600 million ($669-704 million) and a 30-32% margin (both figures exclude contributions from Lyca Spain).
Publicly listed Másmóvil gave only fleeting mention in its H1 results of last month's takeover bid by Lorca Telecom BidCo, which is a consortium of three private equity firms: Cinven, KKR and Providence Equity Partners.
If their bid is successful, each will own a third of the operator.
Polygon Global Partners, an activist minority investor in Másmóvil, is not happy about the terms and conditions of the Lorca proposal.
Nicolas Dautigny at Polygon Global Partners, in an open letter to Eduardo Díez-Hochleitner Rodríguez, MásMóvil's chairman, went so far as to imply that CEO Meinrad Spenger was putting his own interests ahead of shareholders'.
"It is essential not to forget," said Dautigny, "that the company itself, whose management team is led at the highest level by the CEO, has entered into an agreement [with Lorca Telecom] in relation to the bid which, among other issues, addresses remuneration matters that affect him and his team personally and directly."
— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading