Report: Vodafone still eyeing Kabel Deutschland purchase

Vodafone has reportedly shaken the dust off its evaluation of Kabel Deutschland, as reports suggested the operator is still interested in buying the German cable group despite its recent VDSL deal with Deutsche Telekom.

Quoting unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the German edition of the Wall Street Journal reported that Vodafone has held talks recently with the German cable operator and is intensifying its efforts to potentially seal a deal. This would be the second time the UK operator has approached Kabel Deutschland following the cancellation of plans to buy the cable company earlier this year.

Sources told Reuters in February that Vodafone was weighing a €10 billion bid for Kabel Deutschland. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal said an offer would have to value Germany's largest cable operator at €71.63 euros ($93.69) per share or €6.34 billion in total, according to German takeover law.

Neither Vodafone nor Kabel Deutschland commented on the latest reports. Sources told the Journal that Vodafone has not made a final decision on when or whether to bid at all.

A Kabel Deutschland takeover had been seen by many as no longer necessary after Vodafone Germany secured a deal with Deutsche Telekom in May that allows it to use the incumbent's network to support its own high-speed broadband and TV services. Vodafone is pursuing a convergence strategy across Europe in order to be able to offer quad-play bundles of mobile and fixed services, and has been building up fixed network assets in national markets.

An unnamed source told the Journal that the deal with Deutsche Telekom does not address Vodafone's issues in Germany in the same extent that a takeover of Kabel Deutschland would, primarily due to the extra data requirements of cloud services for enterprise users.

In a separate article, Kabel Deutschland CEO Adrian von Hammerstein told Journal that cable network operators are interesting assets for mobile operators due to the growing importance of mobile data usage. Speaking on the sidelines of the ANGA COM trade fair in Cologne, von Hammerstein did not want to comment on whether Vodafone had approached his company, however.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this WSJ Deutschland article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this separate WSJ Deutschland article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Reuters article

Related Articles:
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Vodafone's Colao: We don't need to sell Verizon stake to bolster European markets
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