Never say die: Vivendi offers EUR2.5 billion for DT's stake in PTC

18 Oct 2006

French media and telecommunications group Vivendi yesterday confirmed it has made a EUR2.5 billion (USD3.2 billion) bid for Deutsche Telekom’s (DT’s) 49% stake in Polish mobile operator Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa. The news is the latest twist in a long-running battle for ownership of PTC: DT and Vivendi have been wrangling for control of the carrier in both Polish and Austrian courts for several years. Vivendi claims it owns 51% of PTC through a holding company that is jointly owned with Polish conglomerate Elektrim, which owns 48% of PTC. Deutsche Telekom, meanwhile, claims it exercised a call option to buy Elektrim’s stake in June, giving it control of 97% of the company.

Analysts from leading investment houses have been quoted as saying that the French company’s offer is ‘surprising’ as it assumes that Elektrim still owns the 48% stake in PTC. Vivendi said it ‘strongly challenges’ suggestions DT had bought the 48% stake, saying the German telcos move to exercise a call option over Elektrim’s stake in PTC was based on an arbitration ruling made by a court in Vienna nearly two years ago. It insisted at the time that the original agreement between DT and Elektrim had been reached ‘in violation of Polish court rulings.’

Poland, Deutsche Telekom (DT), T-Mobile Poland