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United Internet ups stake in Tele Columbus

Tele Columbus zentrale_hannover_bigGerman internet service provider United Internet has struck an agreement to acquire a further 15.31% stake in cable operator Tele Columbus following its purchase of 9.8% of the company’s issued share capital, potentially making it the operator’s largest shareholder with a 25.11% stake.

“Tele Columbus welcomes its new shareholder and looks forward to developing a constructive relationship with United Internet which is beneficial to Tele Columbus, its shareholders and employees,” the company said in a statement.

The move will make United Internet, which offers services in Germany under the Versatel brand among others, the largest single shareholder in Tele Columbus, which has consolidated smaller operators Primacom and Pepcom to create a larger-scale operator across Germany.

The company’s acquisition of the additional 15.31% stake is subject to approval by the German competition watchdog, the Bundeskartellamt. United Internet said it did not currently intend to take its stake over the 30% threshold that would trigger a mandatory offer to all other shareholders under German law. Nor does it intend to make a voluntary takeover bid.

United Internet believes that Tele Columbus AG is a well positioned company with attractive market opportunities and will accompany the company’s ongoing development as a strategic investor and benefit from its growth in value,” the company said in a statement.