Vodafone gets approval for €7.7 billion Kabel Deutschland takeover bid

Vodafone still needs antitrust approval from European authorities

Vodafone is close to acquiring Kabel Deutschland, Germany's largest cable operator, for €7.7 billion (US$10 billion).

The minimum threshold of 75 percent of shareholders agreeing to the deal has been met, the company said in a news release Thursday. Vodafone expects to complete the acquisition by the end of the month.

The deal still needs antitrust approval from the European Commission. Phase one of that review is expected to close by Sept. 20, Vodafone said.

By buying Kabel Deutschland, Vodafone aims to become more competitive in the German market by combining fixed broadband, mobile and TV subscriptions, it said when it announced its plans in June.

A successful acquisition would provide Vodafone with the capability to offer unified communications in Germany by taking advantage of Kabel Deutschland's high-speed broadband and TV capabilities. It would also allow the company to cross-sell to consumers and businesses in Germany.

The takeover will leave the operator with 5.0 million broadband subscribers, 7.6 million direct TV subscribers and 32.4 million mobile subscribers in Germany.

Kabel Deutschland's shareholders who have not yet accepted the offer can still do that until Sept. 30, Kabel Deutschland said in a news release. The Management Board and Supervisory Board of Kabel Deutschland recommended that shareholders accept Vodafone's offer of €87 per share.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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