RCS & RDS denies Vodafone takeover rumours

Romanian cable operator RCS & RDS has vehemently denied a report posted by well-known local journalist and TV personality Robert Turcescu that the company is on the brink of being acquired by Vodafone.

Turcescu posted on his Facebook page that Vodafone had agreed a preliminary deal with RCS & RDS to acquire the operator for between €1 billion and €1.5 billion.

RCS & RDS issued a statement saying that the claim was “completely false” and had no basis in fact.

The operator said it was “unfortunate” that an experienced journalist would spread unfounded rumours that could damage the company without either verifying the information or requesting confirmation from RCS & RDS itself.

Turcescu said that the deal would establish Vodafone as the principal player in the Romanian telecoms market, dealing a blow to its main rival in the mobile space, Orange.

Vodafone has about eight million mobile subscribers in Romania.

Separately, RCS & RDS and state-owned transmission services provider Societăţii Naţionale de Radiocomunicaţii (SNR) have each submitted bids to operate five digital-terrestrial TV multiplexes ahead of the deadline set by telecom regulator ANCOM as the country moves towards a long-delayed digital transition.

ANCOM will review the bids by next Thursday and decide whether to proceed to the next stage, with an evaluation of the initial offers to be completed by May 22.

According to ANCOM, if demand exceeds the number of multiplexes that are available, a decision will be taken through a series of auction rounds. ANCOM launched a tender for the 10-year DTT multiplex licences at the end of March. There are four UHF multiplexes and one in VHF.

ANCOM president Catalin Marinescu made a commitment last year to complete digital switchover by June 17 2015.