Shareholders of Dutch telecoms group Royal KPN yesterday approved the sale of its German mobile unit E-Plus to Telefonica Deutschland Holding at an extraordinary general meeting. Following completion of the transaction, which was announced in July, KPN will receive EUR5.0 billion (USD6.8 billion) in cash and a 20.5% stake in the enlarged mobile operator. The Dutch firm will use the majority of the EUR5.0 billion cash proceeds to further increase financial flexibility, allowing it to focus on its operations in the Netherlands and Belgium. KPN said it intends to recommence dividend payments to its shareholders for the financial year 2014, subject to completion of the deal, which still requires regulatory approval. The merger of Germany’s third and fourth largest mobile network operators by subscribers will create a stronger competitor to larger players Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone Germany.