Telefonica denies reports of €70bn takeover by AT&T


Spanish newspaper El Mundo claimed deal, which would have seen Telefonica’s €52 billion debt written off, has been blocked by the country’s government

Telefonica has denied reports of a takeover bid from US mobile and fixed line provider AT&T.

According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, AT&T had made an initial bid of around €70 billion and would also write off the company’s €52 billion debt.

However, the report claimed the deal was blocked by the Spanish government deeming the firm strategic to the country’s economy.

At&T has expressed a desire to expand outside of the US, and had recently been linked to a potential purchase of Vodafone UK through a joint venture with Verizon Wireless.

Telefonica dismissed the reports, insisting: “There has been no approach nor any expression of interest, in writing or verbally.”

Following the report, Telefonica shares rose by 3.9 per cent to €10.42 this morning in Madrid trading, the most since March 14.