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KPN takes full control of E-Plus

"You finished with that?" Dutch telco asks American friend
Written by Tony Hallett, Contributor

"You finished with that?" Dutch telco asks American friend

KPN has bought out BellSouth's 22.5 per cent stake in German mobile operator E-Plus to take complete control of the company. The move, however, was prompted by BellSouth which chose to cash in its holding in exchange for what works out as a 9.4 per cent holding in the Dutch telco. An alternative would have been to take a larger stake in KPN Mobile, already 15 per cent owned by NTT DoCoMo. Like the UK's BT, KPN has refocused on just a handful of markets, and is seeking ways of reducing a debt mountain. The company owes about Euro16bn - this before assuming a further Euro930m in debt associated with the BellSouth stake. US regional operator BellSouth is pairing down its interests in Europe. E-Plus is Germany's third largest mobile network. It may well now roll out mobile data services closely related to the i-mode service made popular by DoCoMo in Japan.
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