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Vodafone’s $10 billion Bid for German Cabler May Fail

John Malone's Liberty Global may get chance to pitch rival bid

LONDON — British telco Vodafone’s Euro 7.7 billion ($10.1 billion) takeover bid for Germany’s top TV cable company, Kabel Deutschland, is at risk of failing, which could leave the door open for a rival offer from John Malone’s Liberty Global.

The Vodafone offer needs to be taken up by 75% of Kabel Deutschland shareholders by the Wednesday deadline, but according to a report in the Financial Times, the number of shareholders tendering their shares may not reach this target.

“Some of Kabel Deutschland’s shareholders believe that the amount of tenders offered will fall well short of this goal,” the FT said, citing unnamed Kabel Deutschland investors.

Vodafone mounted its bid in June, which repped a near 40% premium on Kabel Deutschland’s share price at that time.

Liberty Global owns Germany’s second- and third-largest cable companies, so would clearly benefit from acquiring Kabel Deutschland. However, there would be a serious challenge from anti-trust authorities to such a move.

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