The Council of Ministers authorizes the purchase of Vodafone by Zegona

The Council of Ministers authorizes the purchase of Vodafone by Zegona
The Council of Ministers authorizes the purchase of Vodafone by Zegona

File photo of several pedestrians as they pass in front of an establishment of the telecommunications company Vodafone in London (United Kingdom).EFE/Andy Rain

He Minister council has given the green light to the purchase of 100% of Vodafone Group Spain by the British fund Zegona Bidcoin an operation valued at 5,000 million euros.

This acquisition, announced in October, but which needed the approval of the Government, positions Zegona as the new owner of the third largest telecommunications operator of the country, standing out for a market share of 16% in fixed broadband customers and 22% in mobile telephonyaccording to data from the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) from February 2024.

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The financing of this transaction will be carried out through the combination of debt and equity. Zegona has guaranteed the continuity and quality of the service, also promising important investments in the development of the 5G technologywhich is expected to reinforce Spain’s leadership in terms of connectivity and technological development.

This strategic acquisition also contemplates the maintenance of key contracts with the General State Administration and the preservation of the firm’s strategic assets.

During a press conference after the Minister councilthe minister for Digital Transformation and Public ServiceJosé Luis Escriva, has highlighted the importance of this sector and the government’s commitment to ensure that this service is protected and strengthened against large-scale business operations: “The telecommunications sector is in a moment of profound reorganizationand it is the obligation of the public powers ensure that this strategic service is not only assured, but is strengthened when a scope business operation occurs.”

The Government has approved the operation after it was supported last week by the Foreign Investment Board of the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business. This decision follows the analysis required by current regulations. In addition, the Ministry for Digital Transformation and Public Service, through the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, has granted permission to the acquiring company to assume control over the radio spectrum licenses that Vodafone Spain had.

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The sale to Zegona does not accompany clear commitments regarding the maintenance of Vodafone workers, an omission that has led unions to worry and have to make a move. The alarm was raised after a public document from Zegona, where unions are mentioned as a risk for your operations in Spainin addition to alluding to the reduction of employment costs.

Thus, CCOO and UGT They expressed their concern to the Government, highlighting the negative consequences that such dismissals could have on the staff and their families. “We will not accept, under any circumstances, that this operation could lead to the destruction of jobs due to the dramatic consequences that such a situation would have on workers and their families,” he firmly stated. CCOO.

The letters sent by the unions to the Government not only highlight the possible labor impact, but also paint a not very encouraging picture for the future of the Vodafone workforce after the acquisition by Zegona. According to UGTthere is already a collective dismissal process underway in Avatel, which could be just the beginning. “To the collective dismissal process already begun at Avatel, we are sure that others will join in a short period of time, especially if the rumors about Zegona are confirmed, in which a progressive dismantling of the company is clearly proposed, with the repercussions that would have on an already very depleted workforce,” he said. José Alfredo Mesafederal secretary of the Communications and Culture sector of UGT.

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