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Bid for O2 dead, or just sleeping?

Deutsche Telekom and KPN call off talks

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Mobile operator O2 has denied any knowledge of a reported €20bn takeover bid for the company, concocted by Deutsche Telekom and Dutch operator, KPN.

An O2 spokesman told us: "We are not in talks, and we haven't been approached."

However the Financial Mail says unnamed senior executives at the company were aware of the negotiations between Deutsche and O2, and that they were concerned the deal would have broken up the company along country lines.

The bid was nixed this weekend, according to a Sunday Times report, after KPN and Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, failed to come to an agreement over the structure of the offer.

The paper says that the deal, which would have valued the company at around £13bn, or 160p per share, it could yet be revived, quoting "sources familiar with the talks".

Rumours about a proposed bid for the operator have been "circulating for months", the O2 spokesman told us. "There has been speculation ever since we were spun out of BT," he said. ®

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