Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/16/kpn_confirms_o2_pullout/

KPN confirms O2 pullout

No reason offered

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Mobile, 16th August 2005 14:55 GMT

KPN has confirmed that it has withdrawn from talks with Deutsche Telekom regarding the acquisition of the German arm of mobile operator O2.

The company issued a statement today confirming recent speculation in the press that it has been approached by Deutsche Telekom about acquiring O2 Germany. However, it says the talks were of "a preliminary nature" and are no longer taking place.

The deal would have seen Deutsche Telekom and KPN buying the O2 business for around 160 pence per share, according to reports, valuing the company at around £14bn.

O2 executives are reported to have expressed concerns the deal would split the company along country lines, concerns that appear to have been confirmed by this statement.

The problem for Deutsche Telekom is that it already owns T-Mobile, and buying O2 in Germany could look anti-competitive. It needs a partner to pursue its O2 acquisition goals, and for a while it looked like KPN, which is trying to broaden its presence in the German market, had got the part.

KPN's statement goes on: "KPN remains confident that it can successfully execute its revised strategy in Germany."

Whether Deutsche Telekom will keep going after O2 without KPN is an open question.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has signed an 18-month deal with Robbie Williams for mobile music offerings, tour activities and international advertising campaigns for subscribing fans.

The company said it would be offering Sony Ericsson devices with "embedded Robbie Williams content", if such a thing could be imagined. Read more about all that here if you feel the need. ®