Kabel Deutschland Raising Spending Amid Vodafone InterestCornelius Rahn
Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, the German cable operator that’s the target of a potential bid by Vodafone Group Plc, said it will boost network spending and raise the dividend after failing to buy a smaller competitor.
The company, based in Unterfoehring near Munich, plans to spend an additional 300 million euros ($403 million) over two years on its network after a plan to buy Tele Columbus Group was foiled by Germany’s antitrust regulator. The board proposed raising the dividend for the current fiscal year 67 percent to 2.50 euros.
Kabel Deutschland also reported earnings for the fiscal third quarter that beat analysts’ estimates. Sales in the three months ended Dec. 31 increased 8.8 percent to 464.8 million euros, exceeding the 461.8 million-euro average of nine estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization jumped 10 percent to 220.4 million euros.
“With increased confidence in the market, we see a chance to advance network spending and to profit from its results,” Chief Financial Officer Andreas Siemen said on a conference call. “The integration of Tele Columbus would have bound up a significant amount of resources.”
Vodafone has been waiting for the release of the results to initiate negotiations about a takeover, a person familiar with the matter said last week. Siemen declined to comment on a potential offer.