Shareholders in private equity-backed Ono, which sells fixed and
mobile phone, TV and internet services, gave the green light to a
planned initial public offering (IPO) of the company at a meeting on
Thursday, but they were still holding out for a deal with Vodafone,
one of the sources said.
"The final details of the bid are being negotiated. For now Ono has
delayed the presentations linked to the IPO to give breathing room
for the negotiations, and a preliminary agreement could even be
reached this Friday," the source said.
For Vodafone, a purchase of Ono would be its third European
fixed-broadband acquisition in two years as the company seeks to
improve its networks and shore up its European businesses after the
$130 billion sale of its U.S. arm.
Vodafone declined to comment, while Ono did not immediately respond
to requests for comment.
Ono on Friday reported 2013 earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 686 million euros, down
8.8 percent from a year earlier.
A 7.2 billion-euro offer would imply an EBITDA multiple of 10.5
times, broadly in line with recent deals in the European cable and
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Ono rebuffed an earlier bid from Vodafone in February, but sources
told Reuters last week that the British group had raised its offer
and reached a preliminary deal to buy the group.
Investment funds Providence Equity Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners,
CCMP Capital Advisors and Quadrangle Capital own 54 percent of Ono,
according to the company's website. ($1 = 0.7180 euros)
(Writing by Tracy Rucinski; editing by
Fiona Ortiz and Elaine Hardcastle)
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