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Trio bid to own top Spanish cabler

Ono has offered a reported e2.5 billion

MADRID — Two U.S.-backed private equity consortia and Spanish telco Ono have submitted binding bids for Spanish telco group Auna, which owns Spain’s biggest cable TV operation, Auna TLC.

Telco/media specialist Providence has teamed with American firm Carlyle, backed by the U.S.’ Blackstone and the U.K.’s Permira, to put in an offer for Auna cell phone company Amena.

U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Goldman Sachs and BC Partners have presented a bid for Auna’s total biz, including its fixed line and cable assets.

Ono — which, like Auna, offers a triple-play service in Spain of fixed telephony, Internet and cable TV — has offered a reported e2.5 billion ($3 billion) for Auna TLC and its fixed-line biz, way below the asking price of some $15.7 billion.

The same suitors made nonbinding bids, before due diligence, in late May. Auna has been put on the block by its main shareholders, Spanish bank Santander Central Hispano and electricity groups Endesa and Union Fenosa.

If the bids fall far short, there’s a possibility Auna shareholders will postpone the sale, despite SCH and Endesa’s need for liquidity.

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