Freenet in talks with Debitel’s owners

27 Mar 2008

The Guardian reports that German multi-service operator (MSO) freenet is in talks with the owner of Debitel, the private equity firm Permira, to acquire the MVNO in a deal worth around EUR1.45 billion (USD2.3 billion). ‘Should these discussions be successful, freenet would acquire the Debitel group with its existing bank debt and would grant the Debitel shareholders a 24.9% stake in freenet,’ freenet said in a statement. It added that it would pay a cash consideration for the firm which would be financed in whole or in part through a commercial loan, and perhaps via the sale of its DSL business, in which competitors United Internet, Versatel and Telefonica Deutschland have all expressed an interest. The statement also said that successful conclusion of the talks would depend upon agreement on several issues, and would also need the approval of the boards of the relevant companies, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) and Debitel’s bankers. Permira and freenet are said to have agreed in principle the deal, which would also allow freenet to incorporate German MVNO Talkline, which it wanted to buy last year from Denmark’s TDC but was trumped by a EUR560 million cash offer from Debitel.

Germany, debitel, freenet