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Spain's Masmovil launches friendly takeover bid for Euskaltel

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's Masmovil announced on Sunday a friendly takeover bid for rival telecoms firm Euskaltel worth nearly 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion).

Masmovil said in a statement to Spain's CNMV stock market supervisor that it had the agreement of shareholders who hold 52.32% of the capital for the bid, which would see it pay 11.17 euros per share in cash.

That represents a premium of 26.8% on the average price of the shares over the past six months, Masmovil said. The offer is a 16.48% premium compared with Friday's closing price.

"Therefore, the maximum amount to be disbursed by the Masmovil group is close to 2 billion euros," the company said.

Masmovil said in the statement that its offer was conditional on achieving the acceptance of at least 75% plus one share of the capital and obtaining all appropriate competition and regulatory authorisations.

"Masmovil and Euskaltel together form a solid and complementary industrial project," it said.

"The operation will accelerate the investments in infrastructures that are necessary in the current context and that will benefit Spanish consumers," Masmovil said, adding it would maintain the Euskaltel, R, Telecable and Virgin brands.

It also said, without giving details, that it would maintain employment at those companies.

In documents it sent to the CNMV, Masmovil said it approached the board of Euskaltel on March 15 with an offer to buy the company. The board of directors of Euskaltel "agreed on 17 March 2021 to consider the offer friendly and attractive," the document said.

On Sunday, the document said, Masmovil and Euskaltel entered into an agreement in which they formalised the various arrangements reached in relation to the takeover bid.

Euskaltel declined to comment.

($1 = 0.8481 euros)

(Reporting by Jessica Jones and Jesus Aguado; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Peter Cooney)