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France Telecom has flogged its 27.3 per cent stake in German cellco MobilCom AG to US private equity outfit Texas Pacific Group (TPG).

The deal nets France Telecom €265m and it continues to own one per cent in MobilCom. In a statement yesterday the company said that the transaction "reflects the withdrawal of France Telecom from the German residential and mobile market".

Mobilcom chairman Dr Thorsten Grenz "welcomed the commitment of TPG" and said the move would "lead to a substantial stabilisation in the shareholder structure".

France Telecom's effective exit from Mobilcom brings to a close a disastrously expensive attempt, costing €11bn, to build a big mobile business in Germany.

Last month Mobilcom shareholders voted to sue France Telecom for damages - against the wish of the Mobilcom board, which said that the company had caused it no harm. ®

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