Vodafone Said to Raise Offer for Spain’s Ono Before IPO

Vodafone Group Plc increased its takeover offer to investors of Grupo Corporativo Ono SA before the Spanish cable company announces plans for a share sale next week, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Vodafone on March 5 raised its bid to about 7 billion euros ($9.7 billion) in a meeting with key shareholders Providence Equity Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners, two of the people said, asking not to be named discussing private negotiations. No final agreement has been reached and the IPO preparations continue, the people said.

Vodafone may need to present the offer to all shareholders before Ono’s annual meeting on March 13 for an agreement to be reached, they said. That day, the Madrid-based cable company plans to present its intention to sell shares in an IPO. If Vodafone’s offer is rejected, the IPO will proceed as planned, they said.

Francesca De Luca, a spokeswoman for Ono, and Simon Gordon, a spokesman for Vodafone, declined to comment. Representatives for Providence Equity Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners couldn’t be immediately reached by telephone and e-mail for comment.

Ono is one of the few remaining cable assets in Europe as Vodafone, Liberty Global Plc and others rush to offer combined packages of phone, Internet and television to win new customers. Vodafone agreed to buy Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, a German cable company, last year for 7.5 billion euros.

Reuters previously reported that Vodafone has reached a preliminary deal to buy Ono.

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