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Vodafone eyes up €8bn Spanish cable asset

VODAFONE has approached Spanish Cable operator Grupo Corporativo ONO's owners about a potential acquisition as the cable company meets this week to discuss an initial public offering or a sale.

Vodafone has contacted Madrid-based ONO's main shareholders about a possible purchase. A bid by Vodafone will probably have to be in the range of €7bn to €8bn to win the board's backing, based on feedback from investor meetings for a share sale.

ONO is one of Europe's few remaining major cable assets after Vodafone acquired Kabel Deutschland Holding and Liberty Global bought Virgin Media last year.

As cable providers accelerate offers of combined broadband, phone and television services, Numericable SAS of France and its shareholder Altice have raised more than $2.6bn (€1.9bn) in separate initial stock sales in recent months.

Ben Padovan, a spokesman for Vodafone, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for ONO.

Bloomberg News reported late last month that Vodafone is seeking to acquire ONO and that a deal may be announced in a few weeks.

Irish Independent