Spanish company Telefonica is looking for financing in the region of £30'000 million for the purpose of buying British mobile telephone company Orange, and it may well find itself having stiff competition in the form of powerful rivals who are also interested in acquiring this British company. Telefonica has begun to approach a series of investment banks to obtain loans with an accumulated value of approximately £30'000 million, in order to prepare itself to make an eventual offer for Orange, according to the London newspaper The Independent, which quoted bank sources. The Spanish company's steps may by followed by other major telecommunications companies such as France Telecom, KPN of Holland or Sonera of Finland, and The Independent also mentioned that NTT doComo of Japan and American MCI WorldCom may also be joining the competition. Veteran bankers have said there is no doubt about Telefonica's chances of success in obtaining the funds which they seek, probably in euros, said the London newspaper. Orange was put up for sale by the German company Mannesmann, which agreed to be bought by British company Vodafone Airtouch for a record price of $160'000 million. The sale of Orange, which was bought by Mannesmann last November, is the condition imposed by the authorities on competitiveness in Europe in order to approve the previously mentioned merger with Vodafone Airtouch.


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