Telefónica deny AT&T takeover speculation

Telefónica has not received any indications of interest from AT&T, despite a newspaper in Spain indicating the government has stopped a $93 billion bid from a US company.

According to the El Mundo publication, an AT&T representative had told the Spanish government of the US operator’s plans to buyout Telefónica, and take accountability for its €52 billion debt, which led to the government halting the process.

A Telefónica spokesman has denied the speculation. “Telefónica has not received any approach or spoken or written indications of interest.”

The government in Spain has the right to block the sale of companies which are deemed strategic to the national economy, and the matter was said to be debated within government, according to the paper.

AT&T has been looking at ways to invest in international markets outside of the US, and a takeover of Telefónica would make it the biggest telecoms company in the world, with a market capitalisation of approximately €300 billion.