Freenet signs agreement to buy Debitel for $2.5b

29 Apr 2008

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) German internet and telecommunications provider Freenet has agreed to acquire mobile telephone operator Debitel for about 1.63 billion euros ($2.54 billion).

Debitel Netherlands Holding, controlled by Permira Advisers, will receive 32 million new Freenet shares to give Permira a 24.99 % stake in the company.
Freenet also will receive a long-term 132.5 million euro ($206.5 million) loan from the vendor.

On a cash-free basis, Debitel will be acquired with financial liabilities of about 1.135 billion euros. Completion of the transaction is subject to antitrust approval by the German cartel authority and establishment of the conditions necessary for listing the new shares.

Permira has agreed to a lock-up for 100% of the new shares until the end of Freenet's 2008 annual general meeting, and for 60 % of the new shares until the end of 2009 meeting, in any event not longer than August 31, 2009.

As a consequence of the transaction, Buedelsdorf-based Freenet doesn't intend to pay a dividend in 2008.

© 2008 The Associated Press

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