Freenet to buy Debitel for €1.63bn

German internet and telecoms provider Freenet has agreed to acquire mobile operator Debitel for about €1.63 billion (US$2.54 billion), an Associated Press report said.

Debitel Netherlands Holding, controlled by Permira Advisers, will receive 32 million new Freenet shares to give Permira a 24.99% stake in the company, the report added.

Freenet also will receive a long term €132.5 million (US$206.5 million) loan from the vendor.

Debitel will be acquired with liabilities of about €1.135 billion. Completion of the transaction is subject to antitrust approval by the German cartel authority and establishing the conditions for listing the new shares.

The report said Permira has agreed to a lock-up for 100% of the new shares until the end of Freenet's 2008 annual general meeting, and for 60% of the new shares until the end of 2009 meeting, but in any event not longer than 31 August, 2009.

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