United Internet threatens action over Freenet’s Debitel plan

18 Apr 2008

Thomson Financial reports that United Internet is considering legal action against rival operator Freenet should the latter pursue its plans to acquire mobile reseller Debitel from current owners, private equity outfit Permira. Earlier this week it emerged that Freenet was very close to signing a deal with Permira to buy Debitel, for a reported EUR1.4 billion (USD2.2 billion), which Freenet intends to finance in part with the sale of its DSL operation. United Internet CEO Ralph Dommermuth wrote a letter to Freenet’s management board indicating that should the deal go ahead, he could ’not rule out personal claims against the acting board members.’ He added that he was still interested in acquiring Freenet. United Internet hiked its takeover offer for Freenet earlier this week, to EUR14 per share from EUR12.80, conditional on Freenet not taking over Debitel. United Internet and MVNO Drillisch already hold a combined 25.24% stake in Freenet via joint vehicle MSP Holdings, and plan to split up the company after the takeover.

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