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Vodafone Still Interested in a Takeover Bid for Spain's Yoigo

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Vodafone has reiterated an interest in buying a rival Spanish mobile network, subject to how European regulators look at mergers within the sector.

Although European regulators have indicated a relaxing of their stance on cross-border mergers to boost the single market, they are proving to be much tougher on mergers within European countries were internal competition is reduced.

The Spanish mobile network, Yoigo has been up for sale for several years, although its majority owner, TeliaSonera recently cancelled a sales effort following lower than hoped for bids.

It is expected that if a buyer were to offer an attractive price, then a sale would be swiftly agreed.

Yoigo recently signed up its 4 millionth customer.

Vodafone's CEO Vittorio Colao said that "the company is obliged to look at everything, although for something like Yoigo we would need the European Commission to make its stance clear on current consolidation deals,"

Vodafone has already agreed a USD10 billion deal to buy a Spanish cable operator, and also picking up a small mobile network could prove too much for the regulators.

The company could also face a debt issue, as Fitch Ratings recently warned that Vodafone could face a downgrade following its Spanish cable purchase if it doesn't take measures to reduce debt. Another acquisition would not reassure the debt agencies that repayments are a priority for the telecoms giant.

On the web: Reuters

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Tags: vodafone  yoigo  Spain