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Zegona displaces Basque Country bank as leading Euskaltel investor

UK-based cable and telecom investor Zegona Communications has displaced Basque Country bank Kutxabank as regional cable operator Euskaltel’s biggest shareholder.

Zegona notified the operator and regulator the the Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores that the 20 per cent. threshold for disclosure of its increased ownership position in Euskaltel was crossed on April 3 and that it now has a 21% stake in the company.

Zegona, which became a 15% shareholder in the northern Spanish operator following the sale of its Telecable operation in Asturias,  announced last year that it would acquire additional shares in Euskaltel, which runs networks in the Basque Country, Asturias and Galicia and is expanding into other regions in Spain using Orange’s network, on the open market.

The move followed an aborted attempt to acquire an additional 14.9% in Euskaltel through a tender offer.

Zegona has set out a plan to change Euskaltel’s management and adopt a more aggressive national expansion strategy than that of the current management team, using the Virgin brand to compete with existing players in the market.

Earlier this month, Euskaltel’s management, led by chairman Alberto García Erauzkin and CEO Francisco Arteche, cited shareholders’ approval of the company’s accounts for 2018 and dividend as evidence of support for the existing team.