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BT, Vodafone Block Each Other in Fight to Run Spain's Airtel, Person Says
Posted: 12-Jan-2000 [Source: Bloomberg]

[According to this Bloomberg report, British Telecom and Vodafone have blocked each other's bid to gain control of Spain's Airtel.]

By Andrew Davis, Madrid -- "British Telecommunications Plc and Vodafone-Airtouch Plc blocked each other's attempts to take control of Airtel SA, Spain's second-largest wireless phone company, a person familiar with the matter said.

"The U.K. companies are vying for Banco Santander Central Hispano SA's 30 percent stake worth at least 1.2 trillion pesetas (US$6.7 billion). At an Airtel board meeting yesterday, both used a shareholder pact to stop the offers, the person said. Vodafone owns almost 22 percent of Airtel and BT owns 18 percent.

"The winner would gain control of a company that has grabbed 30 percent of the Spanish mobile market, one of Europe's fastest growing, in its four years of operation. The number of Spaniards owning mobile phones more than doubled in 1999 to more than 15 million, or 38 percent of the population.

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