The battle for Germany's biggest cable firm appears over. The UK mobile phone giant Vodafone appears to have outbid the US media group Liberty Global for Kabel Deutschland after substantially raising its original offer.
Vodafone had revised its all-cash offer of 81 euros ($106) per share in the German cable firm Kabel Deutschland (KD), raising it to 87 euros, the British mobile phone operator announced on Monday.
The deal included 84.50 euros per share plus a dividend of 2.50 euros, which KD had offered but not yet paid out to its shareholders, according to Vodafone. In addition, the German cable group's debt would be covered, raising the overall volume of the takeover to 10.7 billion euros.
KD's management as well as its supervisory board welcomed the transaction and intended to recommend that its shareholders, according to Vodafone.
The alleged deal ends a monthlong bidding war between Vodafone and the US media group Liberty Global. On June 14, Vodafone fired the opening shot, offering KD shareholders 81 euros per share.
On June 24, Liberty Global announced that it had made a preliminary approach to Germany's biggest cable operator. According to sources close to the talks, the offer was in the range of 85 euros per share.
On Friday, the international rating agency Moody's stepped into the fray, announcing that a Vodafone takeover would be better for KD's credit rating.
Vodafone is seeking to acquire KD as part of its drive to offer more comprehensive packages, including television, fixed-line and broadband services. Liberty Global is already Germany's second-biggest cable operator through its local subsidiary Unitymedia Kabel BW and is aiming to expand in one of Europe's most lucrative media markets.
uhe/mkg (AFP, Reuters, dpa)