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Vodafone in $10bn Kabel D takeover

Vodafone has agreed to buy Germany’s largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland for €7.7bn (US$10bn).

The UK telecoms giants said it would pay €87 per share for the group to enable it to offer more competitive packages including TV, fixed-line and broadband services to its mobile customers.

The firm had faced a potential bidding war with US cable magnate John Malone’s Liberty Global after the company made a rival offer of around €7.5bn last week. Liberty’s bid had reportedly valued Kabel D at about €85 a share.

The deal is Vodafone’s largest acquisition since 2007 and marks a departure from its core business as a mobile operator.

Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Calao said in a statement: “German consumer and business demand for fast broadband and data services continues to grow substantially as customers increasingly access TV, fixed and mobile broadband services from multiple devices in the home, workplace and on the move.

“The combination of Vodafone Germany and Kabel Deutschland will greatly enhance our offerings in response to those needs.”

The deal with give Vodafone access to 32.4 million mobile customers, five million broadband users and 7.6 million TV customers in Germany.

Last month, Vodafone struck a deal with Deutsche Telekom enabling it to offer pay TV over high-speed broadband to its customers in the increasingly competitive German market. This was the company’s biggest operation excluding its joint venture with Verizon Communications.

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