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[商业新闻] 【整理】2013-06-30&07-02 沃达丰欲77亿欧元收购德国Kabel

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Mobile is extremely vulnerable, particularly if you don’t have access of your own fixed lines. And this will give them enough fixed lines to carry about 40% of the traffic they’ll do in Germany.

So if they get it right, they will be doing mobile phones, landline phones, broad bands and TV.

The quadruple plan. What they want the players in the market found is that the churn factor or the customer’s moving to other providers can be cut by as much as 60% if you move from one product to four products. And that’s what it’s all about. Mobile penetration, phone penetration is whatever 100% in developed economies. It’s all about slowing that churn to preserve your revenues and cash flow.

Is that because consumers think oh well, I may have the nerve and appetite to change my phone provider, but can I really take the risk and change everything all at once?

Yes, that’s absolutely right, and that’s precisely why mobile is so vulnerable, because all of us, we change our mobile phone far more often than we change our fixed lines. It doesn’t require everyone to drill a hole in the wall, put a satellite dish up on our roof, all these. We just go to the shop and I could just meet someone who’s offering me an alternative package. So Vodafone, without this type of deal and similar deals that it’s done in the UK and New Zealand is extremely vulnerable.

Right. So we can see what Voda gets out of it. What about the German consumers? Germany’s rich and vibrant economy? Are the consumers ready for a deal like this?

Well, they are. It is a convenience factor. But of course you know, Kabel Deutschland is not agreeing to sell itself primarily for the benefit of the German consumer. I mean there is a number of management, not just the very senior, but probably the top 30 or so directors are extremely well incentivized to sell this company at the right price. And it looks a very attractive deal.

I picked my way through the press release. Not only are they well incentivized to sell it, but under the terms of the deal, many will stay.

Well, that’s right.

So they get the bonus and they keep their jobs.

Well, absolutely. And a beautiful thing about the option package they are charged in is it all depends on by how much you’ve outperformed your peer group. And of course, after a period of beat speculation in which as you mentioned, liberty has been involved as well as Vodafone. That outperformance of the peer group is about as wide as it’s what they’re gonna get. So this is the maximum number of shares they can probably get and they get them earlier than they would have done. So it’s a win-win for them.

It’s free lemons on the machine for them. What about the possibility of a counter bid? I did read that. But if you look at the share price tonight, Kabel share price is about 85 euros. That’s below the offer price. So that would tell me that the market doesn’t believe a counter bid is coming.

This is a smart move from Vodafone. It’s a defensive move because they have to make it. But they know the KPN and Telephone Deutschland are in the background. They’d love to do this, but they haven’t got the balance sheet, and they know that liberty is tied up with the virgin media deal and they are not really in a position to do another one to offer the all-cash deal that Vodafone can make available. So timing is precipitous for Vodafone. This is a great time to get in and keep the competition at bay.
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