Apax not mulling sale of Versatel stake

10 Apr 2008

Reuters, quoting a person familiar with the situation, reports saying that private equity firm Apax Partners is not planning to divest its 44% stake in German telco Versatel. ‘There is no pressure for the financial investor to sell,’ the source said, adding that Apax has sounded out different options of what to do with its stake. Apax declined to comment. The next biggest shareholder in Versatel is ISP United Internet, which owns 25%. Its CEO Ralph Dommermuth said last week he did not know what United Internet would do with its stake in Versatel but said he supported cost-cutting efforts of Versatel’s management. Versatel and United Internet are both interested in domestic rival Freenet’s DSL business. Apax has ruled out a complete takeover of Freenet, and Freenet has yet to start the sale of its internet unit, although a Freenet spokeswoman said while there were no negotiations, initial talks had begun. United Internet said last week it had resumed non-exclusive talks with Freenet, together with discount mobile services vendor Drillisch, aimed at breaking up Freenet and splitting its assets. Freenet is also in talks with private equity firm Permira to buy MVNO Debitel.

Germany, 1&1 Drillisch, 1&1 Versatel, debitel, freenet, United Internet (1&1)