Reports from Spain are suggesting that a consortium of five companies from the UK and the US is putting together a second bid for the country’s largest alternative telco, Grupo Auna. The consortium, which comprises investment firms Apax Partners, Blackstone, Carlyle, CVC Capital and Providence, is thought to be considering a bid of around EUR11 billion, in what would become Europe’s largest ever leveraged buy-out.
The same group tabled an offer of around EUR8 billion for Auna’s mobile division Amena earlier this year, but that was rejected by Auna’s current shareholders, who include Spanish utility company Endesa and the country’s largest bank, Grupo Santander. If a total buy-out fails the new group may settle for a majority stake in Auna, leaving existing shareholders with a reduced interest in the telco. Auna is currently Spain’s second largest fixed line operator behind Telefónica, while Amena claimed 23.3% of the country’s 37.28 million mobile subscribers at the end of June.