The opa of MoreMobile over 100% of Euskatel (Euskaltel, Telecable and R), for which the operator led by Meinrad Spenger will make a disbursement of some 2,000 million euros, has raised doubts from some political and business sectors that fear the Basque nature of the operator who runs José Miguel García (former CEO of Jazztel). Particularly critical parties such as Podemos and EH Biuldu as well as the head of the Bilbao Chamber of Commerce, José Ángel Corres. This contrasts with the support of the Basque government of Íñigo Urkullu, the Basque employer Confebask and the main shareholders of Euskaltel (Zegona, Kutxabank and Alba Europe), representing 52.53% of the company. In addition to the teleco’s commitment to maintaining Euskaltel’s corporate and fiscal headquarters in the Basque Country, as well as the management team and the brands of the Basque operator.
For its part, EH Bildu has considered this operation as “Much more than very bad news” and labeled as “full-fledged looting of Basque society” behind which there would be a privatization process promoted by the PNV. In this sense, he believes that the Basque Country «loses» a company «paid for by all and that it has been a benchmark in the field of telecommunications». In the same critical line, the president of the Bilbao Chamber of Commerce and former Euskaltel councilor José Ángel Corres believes that “It is not positive for the Basque Country” and that the Urkullu executive could have used the fund created to participate in listed companies. Nor is it convinced that MásMóvil has its registered office and tax address in San Sebastián. “I have read that it only has a table and an office and decisions are taken further,” he pointed out in statements to Radio Euskadi.
From MásMóvil they have insisted that its social and fiscal headquarters are in San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa) and that, within the agreements with which it has launched the tender, it is to maintain Euskaltel (Euskaltel, R, Telecable and Virgin Telco) for at least five years, and that any change would require the support of 90% of the shareholders.
Similarly, from the operator, they have confirmed the will to have the current management team although they admit that they will “study” the future of the announced segregation of the fiber business of the Basque operator – called “FibreCo”– one of the jewels in the crown of the future company. Apart from the above, MásMóvil also has among its minority shareholders – apart from the investment funds KKR, Cinven and Providence – the commitment of minority shareholders with roots in the Basque Country as Onchena, the company that manages the assets of the Ybarra Careaga family, which agreed to invest 110 million euros in the new MásMóvil.
In this sense, the operator has expressed since the presentation of the tender that there is a will to boost 5G investments in the traditional territories of Euskaltel (Basque Country, Galicia and Asturias) and their desire to “modernize” the cable network.
In this regard, the CEO of MásMóvil Meinrad Spenger, pointed out yesterday in an interview in El Correo that “our plan consists of accelerating investments to bring 5G to the entire Basque Country and also our fiber optic network, which is the most advanced” and that, with all this, intends make the Basque Country «a leader in technological terms».