Vodafone eyes Kabel Deutschland?
Vodafone is reportedly considering a bid for Germany’s largest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland.
Germany’s Manager Magazin said today that Vodafone Germany CEO, Jens Schulte-Bockum, has put together an acquisition plan with Group strategy chief Warren Finegold.
Two people with knowledge of the situation told the Financial Times that Vodafone had not made a decision or approached the German cable group, but senior management had been discussing a potential bid.
Shares in Kabel Deutscheland rose 12% today to €71.40 valuing the company at more than €5.6 billion
Vodafone is believed to be looking to gain access to European fibre networks in order to support its high-speed data services and provide backhaul for its mobile towers.
The company’s management has indicated that it could become partners with or buy into cable operators to achieve this goal.
The British carrier’s acquisition of Cable&Wireless Worldwide last year gave it access to its own fibre network in the UK but it still lacks its own fibre infrastructure in most European countries.
Vodafone has been linked in the past with Spanish cable operator Ono, and Italy’s Fastweb as a means of improving its declining European revenue with triple play offerings.
The company had also been connected with cable group Liberty Global, although a merger is deemed unlikely after Liberty’s bid for UK cable group Virgin Media last week, according to the FT.
Vodafone CEO, Vittorio Colao, told the FT after its third quarter results last week that the company continued to look at the European cable market and would look to strike commercial agreements invest in its own fibre networks as it had done in Portugal or look at assets to acquire.