Drillisch raises freenet stake, denies merger speculation

21 Jun 2011

German mobile services reseller Drillisch has increased its stake in rival freenet to almost 22%, Reuters Deutschland reports. In May 2011 Drillisch announced it was seeking to buy a 5% stake in freenet from the Bank of America, raising its ownership in its larger rival to 20.2%. The transaction has now received antitrust approval, and Drillisch has subsequently raised its stake in freenet to 21.86%. Meanwhile, a report by the Financial Times Deutschland claims that Drillisch is looking to enter into discussions with freenet regarding a possible merger of the two companies. freenet’s annual general shareholder meeting on 30 June is expected to confirm the addition of two Drillisch representatives to the mobile service provider’s board. The report, which cites unnamed sources within freenet and Drillisch, claims that following the upcoming shareholder meeting, talks regarding further cooperation or a possible merger of the two companies could be on the cards, but a clear plan has yet to be drawn up. A freenet spokesperson has denied the rumours, and CommsUpdate reported earlier this month that Drillisch has said it does not intend to acquire a controlling stake in the company – defined as a holding of at least 30% by the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act – and which would trigger a mandatory takeover bid.

Germany, 1&1 (formerly 1&1 Drillisch), freenet