US funds may challenge Softbank bid for Vodafone KK

13 Mar 2006

US private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Cerberus Capital Management LP are reportedly mulling a challenge to Softbank Corp’s planned acquisition of Vodafone KK, the Japanese arm of Vodafone Group, according to the Financial Times, citing unidentified sources. The British newspaper quotes a spokesman of an unnamed US equity group as saying: ‘A lot of (private equity firms) are looking to make a counter bid, including us. I think it’s a total free-for-all.’ The FT points out that any counter bid would require several funds to be involved and rumours suggest another group has been contacted with a view to putting together a consortium. The UK-based parent would not be drawn on private equity interest but its spokesman said the group remained ‘very confident about going forward with Softbank’.

Japan, United Kingdom, SoftBank Corp, Vodafone Group