FRANKFURT, July 16 U.S. hedge fund Elliott has
filed a suit with a Munich court demanding higher compensation
for minority shareholders in a squeeze-out of Kabel Deutschland
by Vodafone, two people familiar with the
matter told Reuters.
Vodafone secured just over three quarters of shares in Kabel
Deutschland, Germany's largest cable company, with a 7.7 billion
euro ($10.4 billion) takeover offer last year. The world's
second-largest mobile operator is seeking to expand its offering
of television and fixed-line services in Germany.
Sources told Reuters last September that hedge funds
including Elliott, Davidson Kempner and York Capital were
planning legal action in hopes that a court would force Vodafone
to offer a higher price at the next stage of the buyout.
On Thursday, the two people familiar with the matter told
Reuters that Elliott was demanding between 225 euros and 275
euros per share of Kabel Deutschland, roughly three times as
much as the 84.53 euros in cash that Vodafone had offered.
A spokeswoman for a Munich regional court confirmed that the
takeover of Kabel Deutschland by Vodafone was subject to legal
proceedings but declined to provide details or say who had filed
Vodafone, Kabel Deutschland and Elliott all declined to
comment on the matter.
Monthly Manager Magazin had reported on the matter earlier,
saying Elliott now held 13.5 percent of shares in Kabel
Elliott has sued for higher compensation as a minority
shareholder in takeovers in the past - a strategy dubbed
"playing the back end".
($1 = 0.7392 Euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Peter Maushagen; Writing by
Maria Sheahan and Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Catherine Evans)