TDC discusses Polkomtel stake sale with Vodafone

15 Aug 2008

TDC has announced it has restarted negotiations with Vodafone regarding Vodafone’s possible purchase of its proportionate part of the Polkomtel shares offered for sale by TDC. If talks are successful it could bring to an end over two years of litigation between the two parties.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database Polkomtel is owned by the Danish company’s wireless arm TDC Mobile International (19.61%), Vodafone Americas (19.61%), KGHM Polska Miedtz (19.61%), Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen (PKN, 19.61%), PSE (17.56%) and Weglekoks (4%). As far back as February 2006 TDC announced its intention to sell its stake, and revealed it had agreed a deal with the four Polish shareholders for them to buy a proportionate part of its shares, representing 14.8% of the total share capital of Polkomtel, for EUR650.5 million. At the same time Vodafone was offered a proportionate share of TDC’s stake, but the British company disagreed with the price named by TDC (and agreed to by the Polish shareholders).

On 10 March 2006 Vodafone filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Arbitration in Vienna against TDC and the other shareholders. In December 2006 Warsaw’s Court of Appeal upheld Vodafone’s request to forbid the sale by TDC of its stake. Vodafone reportedly paid EUR43 million (USD57.4 million) as a deposit to the court to have the decision granted. The International Court of Arbitration in Vienna began hearing the case in January 2007 but took until March 2008 to reach a decision, ruling that the agreement between TDC and the Polish shareholders was valid and did not infringe either on the statutes of Polkomtel or on the shareholder agreements.

Denmark, Plus (Polkomtel), Vodafone Group