TeliaSonera to sell Spanish mobile operation Yoigo
Scandinavian carrier TeliaSonera is reportedly putting its Spanish mobile operation, Yoigo, up for sale.
Newswire Reuters reports that the deal could fetch over €1 billion, with likely bidders to be América Móvil, Vodafone and France Telecom.
Vodafone and France Telecom would be natural bidders for the operator as they seek to up their scale in their main markets, while exiting countries where they are weak, according to the newswire.
A bid from Telefónica is not expected as it would likely be blocked due to regulatory concerns given its large market share. The Spanish carrier is also engaged in a large scale debt restructuring programme, meaning it is unlikely to be considering acquisitions at this time.
Spain’s mobile market is led by Telefónica with 39.3% wireless subscriber share in March 2012, according to TeleGeography. Vodafone Spain had 32.3% share, France Telecom-Orange 22.7% share and Xfera Moviles (Yoigo) 5.7% share during the same period.
If the Spanish market were to drop from four to three players it would give the remaining operators better pricing power and grant the buyer synergies.