Swedish Tele2 to buy Dutch Versatel

Bogus press release was only half right...

Bogus press release was only half right...

Rumours of the sale of Dutch telecoms firm Versatel were proved mostly correct today when Sweden's Tele2 made an offer to buy the company for €1.34bn.

Tele2 is looking to exploit the two companies' strengths in the Benelux countries, where last year the pair had combined revenues of around $800m.

The Swedish firm apparently isn't as interested in the German market, though, as it plans to sell Versatel's German operations to Apax Partners for €565m upon completion of the purchase.

Versatel's agreed sale price of €2.20 per share is 14 per cent higher than the telco's closing share price of €1.93 on Friday, and the firm's shares moved higher on the news this morning.

Last week a fake press release circulated - and was reported as fact by several media sources - saying Versatel would be bought by Deutsche Telekom.

Versatel has denied it sent out such a release and a legal investigation has begun to determine who is behind the bogus announcement.

The Tele2 bid is supported by Versatel's board which will recommend approval to shareholders. Already the shareholder who owns around 40 per cent of Versatel's stock - thought to be Talpa, the investment company owned by Big Brother producer John de Mol - has agreed to the deal, according to Tele2.