BT and Vodafone square up over Spanish operator
Thursday 16 December 1999
The battle is focused on striking a deal with Banco Santander Central Hispano (BSCH), which is the biggest shareholder in Airtel with a 30.5 per cent stake. Airtel, which has 4.3 million customers, is valued at about pounds 15bn, making BSCH's stake worth around pounds 5bn.
Spain has one of the fasting growing mobile markets in Europe. Airtel's clients nearly doubled to 4.12 million between January and October.
Vodafone, with a 21.7 per cent stake in Airtel, has been reported in the Spanish press as being close to a deal that would close by the year- end. Vodafone last night would not comment on the matter.
For BT, which has a 17.8 per cent share in the Spanish mobile operator, acquiring Airtel would leave it with 48.3 per cent. Should it outmanoeuvre Vodafone, BT could gain outright control by acquiring any of at least three stakes that range in size from 2 per cent to almost 11 per cent.
BT also declined to comment on the issue last night. However, BT executives have stressed that the company is actively looking to build on its stakes in several European ventures.
Though BSCH's stake is likely to be sold, industry watchers say a secret shareholders' agreement makes it uncertain what terms would govern a stake sale.
Some analysts believe that remaining shareholders could have an option to buy the Spanish bank's interest on a pro rata basis related to the size of their existing interest. Alternatively, shareholders could have an option to force the buyer of another stake to offer them the same proportionate amount for their interest.
According to Spanish reports, Banco Santander may trade its Airtel position for a 5.5 per cent stake in Vodafone, making it the biggest shareholder in the world's largest mobile firm.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
From rainforests and reefs to beaches and boat trips
The Silicon Valley awards which treat scientists like rockstars
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
North Korea: First Kim Jong-un orders execution of uncle - now it emerges that victim's wife was involved in decision to execute him
Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Woman who miscarried in private prison 'made to clean up after herself,' court told
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- 1 Italian court annuls prison sentence for elderly paedophile after 11-year-old victim tells investigators in Catanzaro that she loves him
- 2 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 3 Woman who miscarried in private prison 'made to clean up after herself,' court told
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Support Analyst (Back Office, CRM, Sharepo...
£800 - £875 per day: Harrington Starr: Programme Manager, (OTC Trading, CMMI, ...
£500 - £525 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Intelligence Consultant/Develo...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...