Tele2 buys Versatel

Triple play

Stockholm-based Tele2 AB has offered to buy Versatel Telecom International for a total of €1.34bn to boost its expansion on the continent.

As part of the deal, investment firm Apax Partners will acquire Versatel's German operations, the company announced this morning. Versatel has been highly successful in building its German operations, which accounted for approximately 47 per cent of its consolidated EBITDA in Q1 2005.

Tele2 says it is fully committed to the triple play strategy of Versatel in the Netherlands. That company will offer exclusive soccer games through ADSL2+ this fall, in combination with broadband internet and VoIP. Tele2 will migrate its existing traffic onto Versatel's network, meaning it will no longer rely on KPN's network for its carrier select services.

The combination of Tele2's existing operations in the Benelux market area with Versatel Benelux will have revenues of approximately €800m and EBITDA of approximately €112m.

The takeover means Big Brother creator John de Mol's Versatel stake will fetch €475m.

Just last week Versatel had to deny reports that it was in takeover talks with Deutsche Telekom, after pranksters had issued a fake press release.

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