Vodafone bid to acquire Kabel Deutschland in doubt

09 September 2013 | Kavit Majithia


Vodafone’s bid to acquire Kabel Deutschland could fall apart after shareholder fears emerged that the deal could fail to meet the required minimum level of acceptances.

The two companies agreed to a €7.7 billion takeover in June this year, as Vodafone seeks to offset the loss of its stake in Verizon Wireless by launching combined TV, internet and telecoms operations across Europe.

However, according to the Financial Times, the acquisition will not proceed unless 75% of Kabel Deutschland shareholders tender shares by this Wednesday, as part of a two stage tender process.

There are fears within Kabel Deutschland that the amount of tenders will fall short of the goal, with Vodafone reportedly required to reduce the requirement or the deal could fall through.

“There’ll be no change in the conditions set out in our earlier announcement,” Vodafone said in a statement.

German takeovers in the past have suffered from the same problem, with a lack of total number of shares tendered in the first crucial stage.

If Vodafone fails to successfully secure the support of Kabel Deutschland shareholders, it could be prevented from launching another takeover bid for 12 months.

US operator AT&T has been rumoured to be interested in acquiring Vodafone to bolster its European operations, and a failure by the UK-based group to acquire Kabel Deutschland could make it more susceptible to a takeover bid.