Morgan Stanley funds wants to take over Tele Columbus

An infrastructure fund of the US investment bank Morgan Stanley wants to acquire the majority stake in Germany’s second largest cable operator Tele Columbus.

Kublai GmbH, which belongs to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, is offering €3.25 per share as part of a voluntary public takeover bid. This corresponds to a premium of 37.5% on the three-month volume-weighted average price of Tele Columbus shares on December 18, 2020. Kublai is thus putting a total of up to €415 million on the table. Tele Columbus supports the offer. The success of the bid is subject to the achievement of a minimum acceptance threshold of 50% of the shares.

If the acquisition is successful, Kublai guarantees a €475 million capital increase with which the highly indebted cable company intends to repay part of its liabilities. The future owner also wants to invest up to €75 million in the expansion of Tele Columbus’ fibre optic network. Currently, 2.4 million households are connected to the company’s broadband network. By 2030, around 2.0 million of these households are to be supplied with gigabit bandwidths via fibre optics.

Tele Columbus shareholder Rocket Internet has already agreed to sell its 13.36% stake to Kublai. Major shareholder United Internet intends to contribute its 29.9% stake in Tele Columbus to the bidding company upon completion of the takeover bid and remain on board as a broadband partner.

On conclusion of the takeover offer, United Internet intends to participate in the capital increase with an amount in the range of €142 to €190 million. Following successful completion of the transaction, United Internet can increase its stake in the bidding company at its own discretion, so that it will hold an indirect shareholding in Tele Columbus of between 29.9% and 40%. Broadbandtvnews

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