09.48 Europe/London, September 19, 2011 By Robert Briel

Spanish operator ONO has entered the race to acquire Spanish regional cable operator TeleCable. Cajastur, the savings bank that owns 91.8%, hopes to close the deal before the end of the month.

TeleCable operates in the Spanish regions of Asturias and Extremadura. Liberbank, the majority owner of the cabler via its subsidiary Cajastur, is being advised by French bank Société Général. According to the bank about a dozen investment funds and business groups are interested in acquiring the cabler.

Liberbank, has said that it plans to sell a major stake in the operator, but also that will keep a stake in Telecable with a “significant participation”. According to sources familiar with the situation, this could be around 20%. Liberbank said it is mainly looking for a ‘technological partner’.

Among the interested parties is also CVC Capital Partners, who last year acquired the Galician cable operator ‘R’.

Last July, Telecable won a licence in the auction of wireless spectrum to operate a mobile LTE network in Asturia in the 2.6 GHz band for an amount of €708,317.

The operator plans to invest €35 million over the next decade and install between 100 and 200 base stations. Telecable will start the network deployment of the LTE network in 2012.

ONO confirmed its interest in acquiring a stake in Telecable during a presentation of its new 100 Mbps broadband internet service on its cable network.