UK-based Virgin Group is said to be considering the acquisition of Spanish mobile network operator Yoigo, which is currently a subsidiary of Sweden’s TeliaSonera. According to Reuters, the development was reported by Spanish language news outlet El Economista, which cites people with knowledge of the situation. It has been claimed that Virgin Group is examining ways in which it might be able to break into the Spanish telecoms market, to which end it has reportedly held talks with Yoigo’s current owners. However, Reuters noted that Virgin Group was not available to remark on the speculation, while both TeliaSonera and Yoigo declined to comment on the matter.
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, plans for the sell-off of TeliaSonera’s Spanish unit have been considered on more than one occasion in recent years. Having hired Deutsche Bank to manage the sale of its entire 76% stake in June 2012, by April 2013 the Swedish outfit confirmed it had abandoned divestment plans after offers for Yoigo fell short of its expectations. July 2014 saw TeliaSonera again confirm it was reviewing its future presence in the market amid fierce competition, while an update on the review in September brought confirmation of initial talks with alternative broadband provider Jazz Telecom (Jazztel) over a possible offer for Yoigo. In the event, with French telecoms giant Orange Group soon after confirming it was to buy Jazztel, this effectively ended any prospect of a deal for the latter to acquire Yoigo.