Vodafone Group is reportedly considering the acquisition of Spanish cableco Grupo Corporativo ONO, according to Bloomberg, as the latter continues preparations for an initial public offering (IPO). With the report citing two people familiar with the matter, it has been claimed that talks are taking place between ONO’s existing owners and Vodafone Group, with it possible that a deal could be announced within the next few weeks. However, there remains no guarantee that the two sides will reach an agreement, and as such ONO may yet opt to pursue a listing instead.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2013 ONO was said to be considering an IPOin the first half of 2014. Although at the time it was suggested that a final decision on the undertaking of a listing had yet to be made, ONO’s management was said to be keen to take advantage of the slight uptick in the country’s economy and a renewed interest in Spanish assets from foreign investors. Further, it was claimed that the cableco’s plans could take the form of a share offering coupled with a capital increase. Meanwhile, last week the Financial Times reported that ONO has begun the process of selecting banks to advise on the mooted listing, according to three people familiar with the situation; JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank were both named as among those being considered. Current Shareholders of ONO include private equity groups Providence Equity Partners and Thomas H Lee.