Kabel Deutschland cuts outlook as activist shareholder clings on

Kabel Deutschland said this week Vodafone's pending takeover of the company would have an impact on its full-year net income, and said it has reduced its revenue forecast for the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Vodafone continues to face a standoff with Kabel Deutschland's biggest shareholder, Elliott Management Corp., which is hoping to force the operator to raise its offer. According to Bloomberg, Elliott has not reduced its 11 per cent stake since September.

Bloomberg noted that Vodafone expects to pay investors that accepted the offer next week. It's not clear as yet what the resolution will be to the standoff with Elliott.

Around 77 per cent of Kabel Deutschland shareholders have accepted Vodafone's offer; the operator needed at least 75 per cent to secure its €7.7 billion ($10.4 billion) takeover of the cable operator. However, Elliott is hoping to profit from a rule in Germany that says investors can refuse to sell during a takeover attempt and ask for a higher price.

Kabel Deutschland said it now expected revenue growth of 5-6 per cent in the year ending March 31, compared to earlier forecasts of 8 per cent growth. In addition, the loss of deferred tax assets and other effects prompted by the Vodafone acquisition would negatively impact its net income by about €205 million ($277 million) in the current fiscal year, Kabel Deutschland added in a statement.

Vodafone is betting on converged service offerings in a number of its markets, and plans to make use of Kabel Deutschland assets to boost its bundles of mobile and fixed services. Germany is an extremely important market for the operator, accounting for 18 per cent of its revenue.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article

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