Zegona out in the cold as Telia sells Yoigo stake to MásMovil

Nordic telco Telia has agreed to sell its majority stake in Spanish mobile operator Yoigo to local mobile player MásMóvil, leaving UK-based cable and telecom investor Zegona Communications out in the cold.

Zegona, which owns regional cable operator Telecable, had been in exclusive negotiations with Telia to acquire its 76.6% stake but had been unable to strike deals with minority shareholders to enable it to take full control of the operator.

Telia sold its stake in Yoigo for €479 million, giving the company an overall enterprise value of €625 million. The price represents a multiple of about 8.1 on yoigo’s 2015 results and will generate a capital gain of over SEK4 billion for Telia. Following debt adjustments, the transaction will result in a reduction in the Nordic telco’s net debt of approximately SEK6 billion (€640 million).

MásM óvil has also struck deals with Yoigo’s minority shareholders to secure 100% of the operator.

The deal will make MásMóvil, an MVNO that currently uses Orange’s network to provide services, the country’s fourth largest mobile player behind Movistar, Vodafone and Orange. Yoigo has its own network, which it supplements via an MVNO agreement with Telefónica in areas where it is not present.

MásMóvil also offers fixed phone and internet services.

“The divestment of Yoigo is an important milestone in our ambition to increase focus on our operations in the Nordics and Baltics. I am happy that we have an agreement with Masmovil, who will be able to leverage a small but great and agile team into a combined unit, creating an even stronger challenger in the Spanish market,” said Johan Dennelind, Telia’s president and CEO.

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