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Telefónica sells 45% stake in Spanish rural fiber unit Bluevia

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Spain’s Telefónica has announced that it will sell a portion of its rural fiber network to a group led by France’s Credit Agricole and Vauban for roughly 1 billion euros. 

 

According to a statement released by Telefónica, the financial group and the investment firm will buy a 45 percent stake in Bluevia, a provider of rural fiber, with a total valuation of 2.5 billion euros. Telefónica also stated that it anticipates the deal to be finalized by year’s end, subject to regulatory approvals.

 

Bluevia is a platform for managing and deploying fiber networks in underserved rural parts of Spain in collaboration with networks administered by third-party operators. The transaction takes place less than a month after Telefónica established their dedicated neutral wholesale FTTH provider, which is primarily focused on connecting areas comprising Spain’s lowest population densities.

 

As a neutral wholesaler, Bluevia will establish a fiber network in sparsely populated rural parts of Spain and avert the overbuilding of third party operator networks. All telecommunications service providers will have access to wholesale FTTH through Bluevia.

 

Bluevia will expand its network to 5 million premises by 2024, based on an initial footprint of 3.5 million premises that it has already purchased from Telefónica España. This would enable Bluevia to provide underserved areas with ultrafast internet connectivity using a greener technology.

 

Emilio Gayo, Telefónica Spain Chairman, commented: “We are very excited about this project that will allow Telefonica España to remain the undisputed leader in fiber and will be a key lever to accelerate the deployment in rural areas as we continue to move forward in our commitment to shut down the retail copper network and to promote better connectivity in a more efficient and sustainable way”.