German cable operator Kabel Deutschland could be approached by Vodafone Group about a possible takeover bid this week, according to a report by Bloomberg which cites a person familiar with the matter. Last week Vodafone was said to be considering a potential acquisition of Kabel Deutschland, in a move that would give the UK-based company access to around 8.5 million paying households and potential customers for combined fixed line, mobile and TV services. The unnamed source said that Vodafone’s management is waiting for Kabel Deutschland’s earnings release, scheduled for 20 February, before initiating negotiations. Germany’s fragmented cable market was consolidated last year through the merger of Unitymedia and Kabel BW, both of which are owned by US-based Liberty Global Inc (LGI), notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Unitymedia was purchased by LGI in January 2010 for an enterprise value of EUR3.5 billion (USD4.3 billion), while Kabel BW was snapped up from Swedish private equity firm EQT in March 2011 for EUR3.16 billion. A plan to combine the two cablecos was approved by the Federal Cartel Office in December 2011, and the merger was completed on 1 July 2012 under the name Unitymedia KabelBW. At that date, the company served around seven million customers across its combined footprint, making it the second largest cableco behind Kabel Deutschland.
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