Vodafone reaches verbal agreement to buy ONO

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 14-03-2014

By finally paying around €7,200 million, slightly more than initially offered, Vodafone has managed to buy the Spanish cable firm ONO.

ONO's shareholders waited until the last minute to agree to the offer, even announcing yesterday evening that they would take the company public.

However, Vodafone has finally reached its long-awaited objective and has verbally agreed to buy ONO. The deal will be made official next week. According to the financial newspaper Expansion, the British telco will be paying €7,200 million, an amount which includes ONO's €3,400 million debt.

The agreement, which is a huge deal for the Spanish pay-TV and fibre market, will probably also be looked into by either the Spanish competition watchdog Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia or the European Commission.

ONO held an extraordinary meeting on 13 March to vote on the company's plans to go public. The initial news from the meeting pointed to an affirmative response, but the company's shareholders finally decided to take Vodafone's offer.

By buying the cable company, Vodafone will have access to seven million homes connected by fibre and coaxial cable, one of the largest networks of the market together with Telefónica's. ONO currently has one million TV subscriptions, over 1.5 million Internet customers, 1.8 telephony customers and one million mobile subscribers.