freenet’s takeover of debitel complete

7 Jul 2008

German multi-service operator freenet has completed the takeover of MVNO debitel, in a deal which involved debitel’s former owner Permira taking a 24.99% stake in freenet. The EUR1.63 billion (USD2.57 billion) purchase was approved in late May by the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) following ISP United Internet’s failed attempt to derail the deal in court. United Internet, which together with MVNO Drillisch holds 25.24% in freenet (via joint vehicle MSP Holdings), had fiercely opposed the debitel acquisition throughout, as it wanted to buy freenet instead. The deal creates Germany’s largest MVNO by a huge margin; freenet had 5.8 million mobile customers at the end of March 2008 whilst debitel was estimated to have over 13 million users by that date.

Germany, debitel, freenet