Vodafone still keen to approach Kabel Deutschland-source

FRANKFURT Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:19am EST

An advertising billboard of Germany's biggest cable operator Kabel Deutschland and mobile operator Vodafone is pictured in a shop in Berlin February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

An advertising billboard of Germany's biggest cable operator Kabel Deutschland and mobile operator Vodafone is pictured in a shop in Berlin February 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L) continues to see merit in a takeover of Germany's biggest cable operator Kabel Deutschland (KD8Gn.DE), a banker familiar with the plans said on Wednesday.

Vodafone's management is reflecting on how to handle its approach after the plan became public, the banker told Reuters, adding that if Vodafone were immediately to make contact with the cable operator, it would have to disclose the plan to the public.

"It is just taking a bit of time," the person said.

Earlier, Bloomberg News cited three people familiar with the matter as saying that Vodafone has suspended plans to approach Kabel Deutschland about a takeover bid.

Kabel Deutschland's share was trading 2.7 percent lower at 1413 GMT, while Vodafone's share was trading 1.02 percent higher.

Reuters learned two weeks ago that Vodafone was weighing a possible bid for Kabel Deutschland, which has had a stock market listing since 2010.

However, Vodafone's top management in London had not yet signed off on the plan worked out by Vodafone's German unit.

"The leak came way too early and caused the whole process to run into the sand," the banker said.

Vodafone and Kabel Deutschland declined to comment.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters last week that Vodafone hired Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to advise on a possible 10 billion euro ($13.07 billion) bid for Kabel Deutschland.

($1 = 0.7649 euros)

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger, Peter Maushagen, Alexander Huebner, Leila Abboud and Sophie Sassard; Writing by Jonathan Gould; Editing by David Holmes and Hans-Juergen Peters)

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