Report: vodafone shelves takeover plan for kabel deutschland

The disclosure of the intentions made internal deliberations too difficult, the financial news agency bloomberg reported late tuesday. As a result, kabel deutschland’s share price dropped sharply on the frankfurt stock exchange. The shares of the german cable network operator slumped by over five percent to under 66 euros and were thus by a wide margin the worst performer on the mdax. Vodafone shares, on the other hand, jolted forward by almost one and a half percent in london.

Vodafone had originally wanted to contact germany’s largest cable network operator after the presentation of its latest figures last week, it said, citing informed persons. Now there is no longer a concrete timetable. Manager magazin" reported in mid-february that a business plan for the takeover of kabel deutschland had already been submitted to vodafone CEO vittorio colao for approval. At the same time, the "financial times" also reported that no decision had yet been made. Vodafone spoke of market rumors that the company would not comment on.

Kabel deutschland’s share price rose with the media reports from just under 64 to most recently almost 70 euros. The company was thus worth over 6.1 billion euros on the stock exchange. The shares are in free float, which makes a takeover more complicated. The major shareholder is the financial investor blackrock with about 10 percent of the shares. Kabel deutschland is the largest german cable network operator with around 8.5 million customer households. Revenues reached 1.7 billion euros last fiscal year.

Vodafone CEO vittorio colao said only on monday at the mobile world congress in barcelona that his group wants to offer customers across europe combined telecommunications, internet and television services – together with partners or on its own. Vodafone and kabel deutschland are direct competitors. The british telecom group also offers television over the internet in its vodafone TV service. The service has around 150,000 users. Kabel deutschland also provides users with high-speed internet access and telephone lines and has around 1.8 million customers in this area. Because of the competitive situation, it could not be ruled out that a merger would meet with resistance from the antitrust watchdogs.

According to "manager magazin," vodafone’s head of germany, jens schulte-bockum, worked out the plan to take over kabel deutschland together with the mobile communications giant’s chief strategy officer, warren finegold. Schulte-bockum’s boss fritz joussen is said to have set his sights on the cable network operator as early as 2008. Colao stopped the plan at that time because of the high costs.

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