Vodafone curtails Orange Spanish fibre network after Ono buy

LONDON, July 23 Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:41am EDT

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - Vodafone Group Plc is scaling back the fibre network it is building in Spain with France's Orange, after the completion of its deal to buy cable company Ono.

Vodafone and Orange agreed to work together in March 2013 to reach an initial 3 million properties next year, and eventually some 6 million by 2017, for a total investment of 1 billion euros.

The British company said on Wednesday it would continue to build a network with Orange to serve 2 million homes, and it would offer the Ono network on a wholesale basis to Orange for a further 1 million properties.

Shares in broadband telecoms provider Jazztel slipped on the news as it is often seen as a possible takeover candidate for the French company.

Vodafone said the joint deployment had already reached 800,000 premises across 12 Spanish cities, and the network would be extended to reach a further 1.2 million premises in areas where the Ono high-speed network was not present.

One year after signing the agreement with Orange, Vodafone agreed to buy Ono, Spain's largest cable operator, for 7.2 billion euros, in a deal that will enable it to better compete with Spanish telecoms market leader Telefonica.

The deal, which received European Commission approval earlier this month, closed on Wednesday. (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)

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