Tele Columbus share: Morgan Stanley funds submit offer

Cable network

Morgan Stanley funds want to acquire a majority in Tele Columbus.

(Photo: Tele Columbus)

Berlin An infrastructure fund from the US investment bank Morgan Stanley wants the third largest German cable network operator Tele Columbus take over. The Americans are offering 3.25 euros per share, as they announced on Monday.

Kublai GmbH, which belongs to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, is putting up to 415 million euros on the table for the takeover. The success of the offer is linked to reaching a minimum acceptance threshold of 50 percent.

If the takeover succeeds, Kublai guarantees a 475 million euro capital increase with which the heavily indebted Tele Columbus wants to pay off part of its liabilities. An extraordinary general meeting on January 20 should clear the way for the capital increase.

The future owner intends to invest another 75 million euros in expanding Tele Columbus’ fiber optic network. According to the company, 2.4 million households are currently connected to Tele Columbus’ broadband network, and around two million of these households are to be supplied with gigabit bandwidths via fiber optics by 2030.

Tele-Columbus share soars

On the stock exchange, the Tele Columbus shares shot up by twelve percent to 3.22 euros on Monday. The major Tele-Columbus shareholder Rocket Internet has already agreed to offer its share of 13.36 percent.

The major shareholder United Internet announced that it would contribute its 29.9 percent stake in Tele Columbus to the bidding company if the takeover offer was successful and would remain on board as a broadband partner. The one belonging to the group 1&1 Drillisch AG has concluded a preliminary contract with Tele Columbus for the use of Tele Columbus’ cable and fiber optic network as a wholesale service for its broadband products.

“As an anchor shareholder, we are very interested in a sustainable solution to create a solid capital structure for Tele Columbus,” said United Internet boss Ralph Dommermuth. “This secures our strategic investment in the company and enables a long-term growth strategy.”

When the takeover offer is completed, United Internet will participate in the capital increase in the order of 142 to 190 million euros. In addition, if the takeover bid is successful, the group can increase its stake in the bidding company at its discretion so that it has a stake of between 29.9 and 40 percent in Tele Columbus.

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