Vodafone Group plans to finalise its EUR7.7 billion (USD10.1 billion) takeover of Kabel Deutschland after the German cableco’s shareholder meeting in October, pending antitrust approval, Bloomberg cites three people familiar with the matter as saying. According to a fourth source, UK-based Vodafone is in talks with the European Commission to address competition concerns and will decide on whether to file for EU antitrust approval before or after the summer break, depending on the outcome of those negotiations. The British company plans to submit its official offer by the end of the month, ahead of a meeting by KDG’s supervisory board on 1 August to discuss the deal, the people said.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Vodafone Group launched its bid to acquire KDG last month, offering the cableco’s shareholders a total value of EUR87 in cash per share, which includes payment of a EUR2.50 dividend announced by KDG earlier this year. The combination of Vodafone’s German unit with KDG, which has a network serving around 8.5 million households in 13 out of 16 states, would ‘create a leading integrated communications operator, with EUR11.5 billion of pro forma revenues in Germany, offering consumer and enterprise customers premium unified communications services’, Vodafone said. Following completion of the transaction, Vodafone Germany would have 32.4 million mobile, 5.0 million fixed broadband and 7.6 million direct TV customers. The firm intends to migrate its existing fixed line DSL customer base to KDG’s cable network where possible, removing the need to pay unbundled local loop (ULL) and bitstream fees. Outside of KDG’s footprint, Vodafone said it will continue to offer fixed broadband access to consumer and business customers via DSL or via a recently announced VDSL bitstream agreement with incumbent Deutsche Telekom.