Vodafone secures shares for €7.7bn Kabel Deutschland takeover

Deal valuing each share at €87 requires clearance from European Commission

A billboard advertising Germany’s largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland and mobile firm Vodafone. The former has has secured enough shares for its €7.7 billion takeover offer to succeed. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters.

Vodafone has secured enough shares in Kabel Deutschland for its €7.7 billion offer for Germany's largest cable company to succeed.

“The 75 per cent minimum acceptance condition has been met,” Vodafone said in a statement, adding that it would publish details on Monday of the number of shares tendered.

Vodafone’s €87.00 per share offer for Kabel Deutschland, which includes a €2.50 dividend payment, ended on Wednesday.

The British company, which this month agreed the sale of its stake in US operator Verizon Wireless for $130 billion, wants to buy Kabel Deutschland to offer more television and fixed-line services in Germany, its largest European mobile market.


Vodafone said Kabel Deutschland shareholders who had not accepted the offer yet may be given an additional chance to do so between next week and the end of the month.

It also said the deal still needed regulatory clearance from the European Commission, with the completion of a first review expected by September 20th.

So-called "quad-play" services offering TV, broadband, mobile and fixed-line telephony have caught on rapidly in markets such as France and Spain, but the largely fragmented German cable market is still some way behind.

This means a deal for the cable company could enable Vodafone to steal a march on rivals such as Liberty's Unity Media and Deutsche Telekom.

With consumers wanting to watch TV and video on an array of devices, cable assets have become more attractive as they can provide internet services at speeds often five times faster than competing services from traditional telecom companies.

Vodafone has said it expected synergies from the deal to exceed 300 million euros a year before integration costs, by the fourth full year following completion.

It also sees potential for revenue synergies of 1.5 billion euros from cross-selling products and improved customer loyalty.

The deal values Kabel Deutschland at 12 times enterprise value against 2013 core earnings, a 35 percent premium to the sector. However, this falls to 8.5 times when taking into consideration the synergies Vodafone expects to extract, analysts have said.

The high price reflects the desire of the world's second-largest mobile operator to adapt in its core market of Europe, where increasing regulation and recession have hit revenue and forced it to write down the value of its assets.