Vodafone Completes $10 Billion Takeover of Kabel Deutschland
COLOGNE, Germany – U.K. mobile giant Vodafone today announced it has completed its $10.4 billion (€7.7 billion) takeover of a majority share in leading German cable TV operator Kabel Deutschland (KDH).
Following approval of the move by KDH shareholders at the company's general meeting last Thursday, Vodafone finalized the deal, acquiring a 76.57 percent stake in KDH.
The agreement, which has already received regulatory approval from the European Commission, will create a new European telco giant and put Vodafone in direct competition with other cable conglomerates, including John Malone’s Liberty Global. Malone had initially bid for KDH but was outbid by Vodafone.
The British mobile group has a full war chest following its sale last month of its 45 percent stake in U.S. mobile company Verizon Wireless back to Verizon Communications for $130 billion.
While Vodafone will return much of the proceeds of that sale to shareholders in the form of dividends, the company has also earmarked around $30 billion in cash to reduce debt and make deals. Vodafone has also committed some $10 billion over the coming three years to investing it its fourth generation mobile network and in laying new fiber optic cables to provide better broadband Internet coverage to its European customers.