Vodafone Group has launched an eleventh-hour bid for Grupo MASMOVIL, as it attempts to derail the pending EUR2.96 billion (USD3.24 billion) takeover by buyout firms Providence, Cinven and KKR. According to El Economista, preliminary talks have already taken place through intermediaries, and Vodafone could be willing to pay as much as EUR6 billion for the alternative operator – more than double the agreed offer. A source familiar with the situation told the business daily: ‘The playing field is open. Everything is possible at the moment, and nothing can be ruled out.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month 86.41% of MASMOVIL’s shareholders approved the bid by Lorca Telecom Bidco, a company indirectly owned by funds advised by Providence, Cinven and KKR. The deal – which was previously welcomed by the telco’s board of directors, as well as by CEO Meinrad Spenger – values the telco at EUR22.50 in cash per share.