Zegona clarifies on Euskaltel

Cable and telecom investor Zegona Communications has clarified that it has not acquired any additional shares in regional Spanish cable operator Euskaltel above its existing 15% stake and that it would only make market purchases of Euskaltel shares at the right price.

The clarification followed mistaken reports by some local  media that interpreted the concluding of a pact between Zegona and Talomon Capital – a minority shareholder in Euskaltel – as meaning that Zegona was increasing its stake in the operator. Zegona subsequently communicated to regulator the CNMV that neither it nor Talomon had increased their stakes.

Earlier this month, Zegona completed a share placing to raise just over £100 million to enable it to purchase additional shares in Euskaltel. The move followed Zegona’s decision to withdraw a tender offer to acquire an additional 14.9% of Euskaltel and focus on increasing its ownership position up to a maximum of 12.5% through open market purchases.

Zegona’s agreement with Talomon Capital gives the latter an entitlement of up to 2.4% in Euskaltel.

In addition to its share placement, Zegona has also entered into agreement with Virgin Group and Barclays Banks to draw up to £30 million in debt to supplement the equity placement.

The future of Euskaltel, which operates networks in the northern Spanish regions of the Basque Country, Asturias and Galicia and recently unveiled plans to expand nationally, has been subject to speculation in recent days, with both Orange and MásMóvil  dismissing reports that they were interested in acquiring the company.

Zegona currently holds a 15% stake in Euskaltel following the merger of the latter with Zegona-owned Asturias region operator Telecable.

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