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Zegona secures appointment of García as Euskaltel CEO

José Miguel García

Cable and telecom investor Zegona Communications has realised one of its key goals for Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel by securing the appointment of former Jazztel chief executive José Miguel García as the company’s CEO.

García will replace Francisco Arteche as Euskaltel chief, while Zegona chairman and CEO Eamonn O’Hare will b3come Zegona’s proprietary director on the Euskaltel board.

Having recently superseded Basque Country bank Kutxabank as Bilbao-based Euskaltel’s biggest shareholder, Zegona has also requested an additional proprietary director position, and expects Robert Samuelson, Zegona’s COO, to be reappointed to the Euskaltel board in this capacity in due course.

Earlier this year Zegona raised £100 million via a placing to increase its investment in Euskaltel as part of its strategy to increase its influence on the Spanish Telecoms company.Since the fund raising, Zegona has increased its disclosable shareholding in Euskaltel to 21.0%.

Zegona believes that the latest appointments and the anticipated appointment of Samuelson should give it greater leverage over Euskaltel, enabling it to realise plans that include the expansion of its footprint across Spain using the Virgin brand.

The Euskaltel board unanimously agreed to appoint García as CEO at a meeting yesterday, and to end the contractual relationship with Arteche.

In a statement the board thanked Arteche for “successfully leading the transformation process from being a telecommunications operator to a digital service operator and driver of the digital economy”.

It said that Euskaltel was now entering a new phase in development at a time of fierce competition in the telecommunications industry.

“The time has come to accelerate and intensify the sustainability, growth and value-creation strategy that has characterised the Euskaltel Group,” it said, adding that it had agreed to name García as CEO amidst fierce competition in the telecommunications industry. “The time has come to accelerate and intensify the sustainability, growth and value-creation strategy that has characterised the Euskaltel Group.”

García said: “I am confident that the Euskaltel Group has the potential to be a leading player in the Spanish telecommunications market. I have seen for myself how this success is based on the strategic strength and solid roots of its three brands in the market, which reinforces the link between the Euskaltel Group and its stakeholders, and the commitment to its people.”