Ono moves to IPO but door still open for Vodafone say reports

OnoSpanish Cable operator Ono has said it will press ahead with its planned IPO while continuing to engage with Vodafone over a possible acquisition, it has been reported. Citing two people “with knowledge of the matter”, news agency Bloomberg reported that Ono will slow preparations for the IPO, agreed at a board meeting on Thursday, to give Vodafone the option to up its previous bid, which was in the region of €7bn.

Meanwhile Reuters has cited a source close to the companies who suggests that negotiations are set to conclude imminently with a successful outcome for Vodafone.

Vodafone is looking to consolidate its position in key existing markets by expanding into cable provision; a strategy revealed by its purchase of Germany’s Kabel Deutschland last year. A number of European telcos are betting on bundled communications and pay TV offerings to increase customer loyalty and grow revenues.

Earlier this week, at Cable Congress in Amsterdam, Cable CEOs debated the future of convergence between their own networks and mobile services. Leading executives said that cable operators are becoming mobile companies as consumption of content migrates to mobile.

Speaking on the opening panel session at the show on Wednesday, Manuel Cubero, chief operating officer, Kabel Deutschland, said that the combination of Vodafone and KDG was a “perfect fit”, but added that his company had already begun deploying wifi last year. “The logic for this [fixed mobile] marriage is becoming greater,” he said.

Asked whether KDG would adopt the Vodafone brand, Cubero declined to answer directly but said that in principal Vodafone has a” fantastic brand” worldwide with 22 million customers in Germany. “It’s obvious it will help us grow event faster,” he said.

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