Kabel Deutschland investors approve Vodafone's $10-bn buyout offer

Vodafone Group Plc yesterday said that its €7.7 billion ($10 billion) buyout offer for Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (KDH) will go through after it secured the minimum 75 per cent of shares required in Germany's largest cable company.

Vodafone, which this month agreed to sell its 50-per cent stake in its US joint venture Verizon Wireless to its partner Verizon Communications for $130 billion (See: Verizon buys Vodafone's US joint venture for $130 bn). , said that it will publish a final announcement with the definitive tender ratio on 16 September.

It also gave time to KDH shareholders who have not accepted the offer within the acceptance period to do so between 17 September and 30 September.

The deal is subject to the approval of the European Commission, which is expected to complete its Phase I review by 20 September.

The acquisition will give the London-based Vodafone 8.5 million subscribers in Germany, add fixed-line services to its mobile offerings and block a potential acquisition by its rival Liberty Global.

KD offers digital, high definition and analog TV, Pay TV and DVR offerings, Video on Demand, broadband and fixed-line phone services via cable as well as mobile services.

The publicly-listed company operates cable networks in 13 German federal states and supplies its services to approximately 8.5 million households.

The company has approximately 3,500 employees, market capitalisation of €6.6 billion, and annual turnover of €1.7 billion.

Vodafone emerged as a market leader in mobile in Germany following its huge £112 billion merger with Mannessmann in 2000.

According to analysts, consumers were increasingly looking to single company providers for phone, broadband, mobile and TV known as ''triple play'' or ''quad play.''

They say triple-play operators were increasingly taking a share in mobile, whereas mobile operators including Vodafone had failed to win significant share in the triple-play segment.