12 Feb 2003
UK-based mobile giant Vodafone [VOD.L] has launched a bid to acquire the shares it does not already own in its Dutch subsidiary Vodafone Libertel [LTEL.AS]. The parent company has offered EUR11 per share, valuing the 22% stake at around EUR771.1 million (USD827 million), although the figure is conditional on Vodafone raising its stake above 95%. Libertel shareholders will be sent details of the offer later this month and the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of March. Dutch law dictates that Vodafone may force the remaining shareholders to sell once it has acquired 95% of the company. According to sources at the cellco, Vodafone will apply to delist Libertel’s share from the Amsterdam stock exchange as soon as possible. Earlier this year Vodafone revealed that it had made similar offers to its subsidiaries in Portugal and Sweden, and has since increased its stake in the latter by 3.2 percentage points to 85.5% at a cost of SEK607 million (USD71 million); last week it offered SEK47 per share for the remainder of Europolitan Sweden.