UPDATE 1-Telefonica sells Manx Telecom to private equity

Fri Jun 4, 2010 5:55am EDT

* HG Capital, CPS buy Isle of Man firm

* Enterprise value of deal 159 mln stg

* Sale part of strategic divestment policy

* Telefonica shares up 0.7 pct vs lower market

MADRID, June 4 (Reuters) - Spain's Telefonica (TEF.MC) has sold Manx Telecom, the main telecoms provider for the Isle of Man, to a private equity firm as part of its ongoing plan to divest non-core assets.

UK private equity investor HG Capital said on Friday that it was buying the majority stake in Manx, alongside telecoms management company CPS Partners. The enterprise value of the deal is 158.8 million pounds ($232.5 million), HG said.

Manx Telecom - which provides services to the Isle of Man, a small British dependency in the Irish sea - had revenue of 69 million pounds in 2009, said HG, which manages the listed HG Capital Trust (HGT.L).

"Manx Telecom has a superb record of sustainable organic growth," said HG telecoms head Alex King.

"We see this as very much a growth investment for HG Capital and will continue to invest in supporting the organic growth of the business and in the form of bolt on acquisitions."

Telefonica is trying to buy Portugal Telecom (PTC.LS)'s stake in Brazilian mobile operator Vivo VIVO4.SA, but the Portuguese operator wants more than the 6.5 billion euros ($7.92 billion) that Telefonica has offered.

Telefonica shares were up 0.7 percent at 0953 GMT, compared with a slightly lower IBEX 35 index .IBEX

($1=.6831 Pound)

($1=.8205 Euro)

(Reporting by Robert Hetz and Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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