Spain greenlights merger of Orange and MasMovil, minister says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 12, 2024 | 7:09 AM

MADRID (Reuters) -Spain’s government has authorised a merger of French mobile operator Orange’s Spanish business and its rival MasMovil, Digital Transformation Minister Jose Luis Escriva said on Tuesday, the last formal step after an EU approval last month.

An accompanying industrial plan for the resulting entity that will become Spain’s biggest operator with more than 30 million mobile customers, “is truly ambitious”, with strong investments in fixed and mobile infrastructure, Escriva told a news conference.

The proposed merger of Spain’s second and fourth-largest telecoms providers had already secured antitrust clearance from the European Union in February.

Orange had earlier said that the deal, which has an enterprise value of about 18.6 billion euros ($20.33 billion), was expected to be completed by the end of the quarter.

MasMovil will divest spectrum across three frequency spectrum bands to Romania’s Digi, the largest mobile virtual network operator in Spain, so it can build its own mobile network.

($1 = 0.9147 euros)

(Reporting by David Latona and Emma Pinedo; Editing by Andrei Khalip)