German internet service provider United Internet has – through its subsidiary United Internet Ventures – secured a share package of around 15.31% in cable operator Tele Columbus.
The transaction of which financial details have not been disclosed is subject to approval by German anti-trust authority Bundeskartellamt.
Together with further shares United Internet acquired in Tele Columbus at the same time, the parent company of internet brands like 1&1, GMX and web.de would then hold a total of 25.11% in Tele Columbus – and become the company’s largest shareholder.
“We know Tele Columbus and its CEO Ronny Verhelst and value his successful corporate leadership. As a strategic investor we want to accompany the further development of Tele Columbus and benefit from its growth in value,” said Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet.
United Internet does not, however, currently intend to acquire an equity stake of 30% or more in Tele Columbus – which would oblige it to submit a mandatory bid to all other shareholders – nor to make a voluntary takeover bid, according to a statement.
Through the stake in Tele Columbus, the company which has so far mainly been selling ADSL internet contracts secures a foothold in the cable market. United Internet could, for example, in future market TV, internet and telephony subscriptions using the Tele Columbus network.
Germany’s third-largest cable operator recently achieved significant growth through the takeover of Primacom and Pepcom and now serves a total of 3.6 million households.