Vodafone has increased its stake in Poland’s second largest cellco Polkomtel, agreeing to acquire an additional 4.8% from Danish telco TDC to take its holding to 24.4%. Vodafone will pay EUR176 million (USD224.3 million) in cash plus accrued interest. It expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2008. The other shareholders in Polkomtel are Poland’s copper miner KGHM, refinery PKN Orlen and power group PGE. PKN has said it is willing to sell its 19.6% stake in Polkomtel, reportedly saying in November last year that it valued its shareholding at about EUR1 billion (USD1.28 billion).
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, TDC has been attempting to exit its Polish investment since February 2006, when it first announced its intention to sell its stake in Polkomtel. It revealed it had agreed a deal with the 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 also 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 the British firm filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Arbitration in Vienna against TDC and the other shareholders.