23. July 2013–
Spanish telco Telefónica has agreed to acquire E-Plus, the German mobile business of Dutch group KPN, in a deal valuing the company at €8.1bn. The deal would create the largest mobile operator in Germany by subscriber numbers.
The deal would bring E-Plus into Telefónica Deutschland, at a purchase price that works out to €5bn cash plus 17.6 per cent of the combined company. It's still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close in mid-2014.
The combined company would claim 43 million customers, Telefónica Deutschland said today. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the combined company's mobile customer base at the end of March (E-Plus and Telefónica's O2) would beat out Deutsche Telekom (37 million) and Vodafone (32.4 million) in Germany.
It's part of a broader shake-up for operators in Germany and in Europe, with Vodafone expected to complete its €7.7bn acquisition of Kabel Deutschland by the end of the year (aimed at strengthening Vodafone's non-mobile product offers). The Wall Street Journal recently reported almost $60bn in telecom deals were announced in Europe in the first half of 2013, the highest first-half total since 2003.
European Commissioner Neelie Kroes has made it a priority to create a single telecoms market in Europe, with a package of reforms including an end to mobile roaming charges by next year. Kroes has said consolidation between operators "can make sense" but recently called for companies to think beyond mergers and acquisitions to achieve a single market.
Image credit: via Telefónica
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