Shareholders of cable company Ono are close to reaching a deal with Britain's Vodafone on an offer to buy the Spanish group for about 7.2 billion euros ($10 billion) including debt, two sources familiar with the matter said. Shareholders in private equity-backed Ono gave the green light to a planned initial public offering (IPO) of the company at a meeting on Thursday, but they were still holding out for a deal with Vodafone, one of the sources said. For now Ono has delayed the presentations linked to the IPO to give breathing room for the negotiations, and a preliminary agreement could even be reached this Friday," the source said. For Vodafone, a purchase of Ono would be its third European fixed-broadband acquisition in two years as the company seeks to improve its networks and shore up its European businesses after the $130 billion sale of its U.S. arm.
LONDON (AP) — The top diplomats for Russia and the U.S. voiced pessimism Friday about negotiating an immediate end to the crisis in Ukraine or preventing its strategic Crimea region from voting this weekend to break off from the rest of the country.