Feeds

Mannesman humiliated in court as Vodafone goes hostile

Totally disgraceful and unacceptable

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Vodafone has made history with a world-beating £79bn hostile bid for German group Mannesmannn. The all-paper offer is 20 per cent higher than the bid rejected out of hand by Mannesmann's board earlier this week.

On paper, the deal looks good - the two companies complement each other and shareholders look certain to benefit. But Vodafone has two major obstacles in its path. First up is Mannesmann CEO Klaus Esser, who has made it quite clear he will resist any takeover attempts.

Esser is widely regarded as the man who led Mannesmann into the mobile market and profitability. He believes that given half a chance he can continue to work wonders and therefore accepting Vodafone's offer would be a premature mistake. It is clearly a personal issue for Esser, as demonstrated by this week's court action by Mannesmann against Goldman Sachs.

Clearly an attempt to disrupt Vodafone and show he is not to be trifled with, Esser's case backfired when a judge described the company's conduct as "totally disgraceful and unacceptable". It had been trying to prevent Goldman Sachs from advising Vodafone on the hostile bid.

But even if Vodafone does manage to bypass Esser, there remains the knotty question of how the German market will react. As has been continually reported since the first bid, there has never been a successful hostile takeover in German business history. German newspapers have acknowledged that fact and are turned the showdown into one of national pride ("The Englanders are coming, with a knockout offer...will greed triumph today?," reads one).

However with the situation so heavily publicised, investors are likely to look very closely at the figures. And this may be where Vodafone wins the war. Both sides have a lot to win and a lot to lose. Iit looks like the ultimate experiment in whether belief or money prevails in the modern economy. ®

Related stories

Mannesmann rejects Vodafone's £64bn bid
Sturm warning: German mobile operators on the offensive

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.