Bids for a controlling stake in Retevision, Spain?s second telco, closed on Monday with two horses in the race.
The Opera consortium, which includes Sprint, France Telecom, and Banco Central Hispano, said it would pump more than 500 billion pesetas into the Spanish telco if it won the 60 per cent stake. It also said it would create an additional 6,000 jobs in the company.
Opera?s rival is Endesa, Spain's electrical utility, the favourite because of its infrastructure and high profile in the country. It already runs miles of networks, and its bid partner is Stet, the Italian telco.
The Spanish government is expected to reach a decision within two weeks. Retevision, a television transmitter, is attractive because it will be allowed to compete with Spain?s national operator, Telefonica, next year. Telefonica was given a competitive boost when it abandoned its alliance with Unisource to join BT and MCI in April. A cash-rich Retevision could replace Telefonica in the affections of Unisource, the AT&T-sponsored consortium, which the Spanish telco quit recently to join forces with BT and MCI.
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