Tele2, Versatel to re-jig merger proposal

24 Apr 2006

According to Telecompaper, Dutch alternative operator Versatel has announced plans to restructure its proposed merger with the local unit of Tele2, following a court ruling blocking their previous plans.

A Dutch court suspended an attempt by Swedish telecoms group Tele2 to ride roughshod over minority shareholders resisting its EUR1.34 billion (USD1.61 billion) takeover of Versatel in March this year. At the time, Tele2 proposed a statutory legal merger with the carrier to hoover up outstanding shares after its bid for the company fell short of the 95% acceptance threshold required under Dutch law to make the bid unconditional. Although the Tele2 offer was backed by 82% of investors, groups representing between 13% and 15% of its equity – including hedge fund Centaurus Capital – are holding out for a higher price. They took Tele2 to court claiming its actions were unlawful. Versatel said it intends to make a new merger proposal within a few months for a triangular merger between Versatel, Tele2 Finance BV and Tele2 Netherlands Holdings BV, without the use of tracking stock. This will also involve a valuation of Versatel and Tele2’s Dutch and Belgian subsidiaries.

Netherlands, Tele2 NL (part of T-Mobile Netherlands)