They are looking to achieve this without either having to sell out or acquire the other to consolidate – a path taken by Vodafone in Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
The Spanish news site el Economista reports that Vodafone España and MásMóvil are looking at ways to merge their assets and businesses in Spain having repeatedly denied rumours of takeovers, citing sources close to the action.
If Vodafone España and MásMóvil can pull this off, it would result in the second largest telco in Spain, with Vodafone owning anything between 60 and 80%.
The big 'if'
It’s a big ‘if’ though. For starters other players in the Spanish market are likely to complain to the competition authorities, including the European Commission.
Also, the shareholder structure would be complicated and it might be difficult to find a solution that satisfies all parties: MásMóvil is owned by the Lorca Telcom consortium, which comprises Providence, Cinven and KKR.
Apparently MásMóvil has denied the story is true and says its shareholders are negotiating with Vodafone. Meanwhile, Antonio Coimbra, the head of Vodafone España did not comment