With the sale of its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless set to close in the next few weeks, Vodafone is certainly wasting no time putting the incoming cash hoard to work. Last week there was talk of Tata, and now according to reports out of Europe this morning the British group has followed through on earlier Spanish rumors and made a real bid for Ono.
They have apparently offered €6.9B in cash for the Spanish cable MSO, although Ono’s board hasn’t yet responded. It’s a deal that will probably look a lot like their €7.7B deal for Kabel Deutschland over in Germany this past summer. Apparently, Vodafone’s plan to revitalize its European wireless businesses is to pair them with last mile cable assets.
Ono generated €752M in EBITDA last year, which would put the EV/EBITDA multiple for this deal below 10. That might not be enough to trump Ono’s other options, one of which supposedly includes an IPO. On the other hand, everybody likes cash and it’s probably close enough to allow the two sides to hammer out a deal if there are no other hurdles to worry about.
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