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Ono Said to Approve IPO Plans as Vodafone Talks Continue

Ono
A pedestrian passes a Grupo Corporativo ONO SA store in Alorcon, Spain. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Grupo Corporativo Ono SA shareholders have approved plans for an initial public offering today even as talks about a takeover of the Spanish cable company by Vodafone Group Plc continue, according to people familiar with the matter.

Vodafone may make an improved offer by March 17 as it tries to convince Ono’s owners to opt for a sale instead of an IPO, two of the people said, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are private. The Newbury, England-based company previously raised its offer to about 7.2 billion euros ($10 billion), including debt, one of them said.

Discussions between Vodafone and Ono’s shareholders are focused on agreeing on a price, especially the equity value of the deal, as well as compensation for completion risks such as antitrust issues and the cost of upgrading customers or networks, the person said. Madrid-based Ono has net debt of about 3.3 billion euros.

The British company may try to pre-empt the start of an IPO process with an offer before Ono’s management roadshow begins later this month, two of the people said. Analysts may start preliminary investors meetings tomorrow, one of them said. Ono expects a valuation of 7 billion euros to 8 billion euros in an IPO, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Representatives for Vodafone and Ono declined to comment.

Ono’s key shareholders include Providence Equity Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners, CCMP Capital Advisors LLC and Quadrangle Capital Partners, which hold about 54.4 percent of Ono.

To contact the reporters on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Madrid at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net; Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net; Aaron Kirchfeld at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net Robert Valpuesta

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