Royal KPN N.V. ADR(KKPNY)- OTCPK - Current
  • Wed, Aug. 3, 10:20 AM
    • The European Commission has approved a merger in the Netherlands of Liberty Global's (LBTYA +1.6%) cable firm Ziggo with Vodafone Netherlands (VOD +0.4%), on the condition that Vodafone sell its fixed business.
    • Liberty Global has jumped from an open in the red to positive ground this morning.
    • That makes a strong competitor to incumbent provider Royal KPN (OTCPK:KKPNY). Ziggo is the Netherlands' top cable provider, and Vodafone is the second-largest mobile operator.
    • The two companies had reportedly offered concessions last month to get the deal done, and it appears the EC's main concern was Vodafone's quick expansion in the fixed-line market.
    • In keeping with other such regulatory reviews, the EC denied a request from the Dutch competition regulator to probe the deal but said it consulted with the agency in its review.
    | Wed, Aug. 3, 10:20 AM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 29, 12:55 PM
    • Europe is set to sign off on a high-profile merger of Dutch operations between Liberty Global (LBTYA +0.7%) and Vodafone (VOD +0.4%) following some concessions, Reuters reports.
    • That news is coming despite a tough regulatory regime that has scratched potential country mergers elsewhere, including a deal in Denmark between TeliaSonera and Telenor.
    • Liberty and Vodafone offered concessions July 12 to get the deal done, sources told Reuters.
    • The two would form the second-biggest telecom in the Netherlands and present a better competitive face to incumbent Royal KPN (OTCPK:KKPNY).
    | Fri, Jul. 29, 12:55 PM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 11:36 AM
    • The EU is set to approve the €1.3B takeover of KPN's (OTCPK:KKPNY -2.2%) Belgian telecom unit by Liberty Global (LBTYA -2.8%), after some divestments to clear the deal, Reuters reports.
    • The approval would mean the first telecom merger OK'd by Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, since the EC squashed TeliaSonera and Telenor's plan to merge their Danish units.
    • Liberty's Telenet unit has been pursuing KPN's Base over the past year. The combination would be slightly behind market leader Proximus and comparable in size to Mobistar (controlled by Orange).
    • To facilitate the deal, Telenet will sell all the customers from Base's JIM Mobile brand to rival Medialaan, along with its 50% stake in another brand (Mobile Viking) -- with the longer-term picture showing Medialaan as an MVNO on the Base network.
    • Previously: Liberty Global unit selling customers to pursue OK for Belgian takeover (Nov. 20 2015)
    • Previously: EU regulators extend probe into Liberty Global-KPN Belgian deal (Nov. 03 2015)
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 11:36 AM
  • Nov. 20, 2015, 10:33 AM
    | Nov. 20, 2015, 10:33 AM
  • Nov. 3, 2015, 11:02 AM
    | Nov. 3, 2015, 11:02 AM
  • Oct. 28, 2015, 10:23 AM
    | Oct. 28, 2015, 10:23 AM
  • Oct. 5, 2015, 1:53 PM
    • Europe's antitrust regulators are taking a closer look at a U.S.-initiated telecom deal, launching a full-scale probe into Liberty Global's (LBTYA +1.4%) bid for Belgium's Base (OTCPK:KKPNY +2.2%) over worries about price hikes.
    • Last month, Liberty was offering up concessions to the European Commission (now tougher than before) in order to seal a $1.5B deal for the Royal KPN operator. The EC had set a decision deadline for today.
    • Now the EC says its early review suggests the deal may reduce competition in Belgium and cut the incentives for Base to offer rivals network access.
    • A final decision on the deal is now due Feb. 18 (and may require more from Liberty to get it done).
    | Oct. 5, 2015, 1:53 PM
  • Sep. 15, 2015, 8:43 AM
    • Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) is offering up concessions to a newly tougher EU antitrust regime in order to win approval for its $1.5B deal for Base, Royal KPN's (OTCPK:KKPNY) Belgian wireless operator.
    • Last week, TeliaSonera and Telenor called off a merger of their Danish operations after a signal that it wouldn't get approved.
    • After reviewing Liberty's proposal, the European Commission will decide by Oct. 5 whether to clear it or investigate.
    • Previously: TeliaSonera, Telenor call off Danish merger as regulators balk (Sep. 11 2015)
    | Sep. 15, 2015, 8:43 AM
  • Jul. 8, 2015, 11:58 PM
    • Europe is leading the world in telecoms moving to "quad-play" bundling -- adding wireless to fixed-line telephones, broadband and pay TV -- which should mean a big opportunity for firms to drive margin improvement and build some competitive moats, says Morningstar's Allan Nichols.
    • Both in-country consolidations and convergence mergers are helping build moats, he says -- the latter because it tends to lower churn as people subscribe to more services. And with lower churn, companies can lower subscriber acquisition cost.
    • His favorites in the space: Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), already a leader in triple-play and convergence in Spain and Brazil; Orange (NYSE:ORAN), leading a fiber buildout in France; and Millicom International Cellular (OTCPK:MIICF), with a high organic growth rate but low EV/EBITDA.
    • About 16% of Virgin Media customers were taking four services when it was acquired by Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) in summer 2013, which Nichols thinks was a key factor. Liberty is now offering wireless services as an MVNO in several markets, and has agreed to buy Royal KPN's (OTCPK:KKPNY) wireless business Base.
    • From the wireless direction, Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is also acquiring assets to offer other services, particularly after it bought Cable & Wireless Worldwide in the UK, and later Kabel Deutschland in Germany.
    • Europe would benefit from more cross-border mergers, Nichols says, but they're unlikely due to political constraints, and German cable consolidation is likely to run into regulatory opposition as well.
    | Jul. 8, 2015, 11:58 PM
  • Jun. 22, 2015, 12:13 PM
    • With consolidation in the air, telecom players are trading significantly higher today Europe-wide.
    • Telefonica (TEF +4.5%), Telecom Italia (TI +1.9%), Orange (ORAN +8.2%), Vodafone (VOD +1.8%), KPN (OTCPK:KKPNY +5.5%), Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY +5.4%), Belgacom (OTCPK:BGAOY +2.7%), TeliaSonera (OTCPK:TLSNY +1.9%) and Pharol (OTCPK:PTGCY +8.5%) are all among firms getting a punch up today.
    • The richness of the proposed deal by Numericable-SFR (Altice, OTC:ATCEY) for Bouygues Telecom (OTCPK:BOUYY) -- at €10B, it suggests one of the highest regional industry EBITDA multiples (14.4x) in years -- may be lifting firms in a consolidation-friendly atmosphere, even with the hurdles this deal has to overcome.
    • French regulators have gone on the record against the deal, calling for investment: “Consolidation isn’t advisable for the sector,” says econ minister Emmanuel Macron. “Employment, investment and giving customers the best possible service should be the priority.”
    • In addition, a reluctant Martin Bouygues would need to be convinced to change his mind and sell.
    • Previously: Altice confirms Bouygues Telecom bid (Jun. 22 2015)
    | Jun. 22, 2015, 12:13 PM | 2 Comments
  • Jun. 3, 2015, 11:29 AM
    • Peeking ahead to more European telecom consolidation, Orange SA (ORAN -0.9%) says it might be looking at Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI), or other countries' targets such as the Netherlands' KPN (OTCPK:KKPNY) or Belgacom (OTCPK:BGAOY).
    • As a bigger provider, Orange is looking to more tie-ups to relieve the falling prices that heavier competition has brought to the European market.
    • The regulatory climate still has a way to go, says Orange's European chief Gervais Pellissier, but consolidation is inevitable on the continent, and in France as well: “The situation with four players is not sustainable in the long term."
    • France's No. 3 provider Bouygues (OTCPK:BOUYY) has been hit hard by the price war but has maintained it's not talking with merger partners. But: "The only one that is not for sale in the French market is us,” says Orange's Pellissier.
    • Orange is down less than expected as it's trading ex-dividend today for its upcoming special $0.4542 cash dividend (2.83% of current price; Orange ADRs are at $16.03 after yesterday's close of $16.18).
    | Jun. 3, 2015, 11:29 AM
  • Apr. 20, 2015, 3:32 AM
    • Liberty Global's (NASDAQ:LBTYA) Belgian unit has agreed to buy Royal KPN's (OTCPK:KKPNY) local mobile-phone business Base for €1.33B ($1.43B) as billionaire John Malone enlarges his European cable and telecommunications empire.
    • Telenet (OTCPK:TLGHY) has about 900K mobile subscribers; Base has 3.3M.
    • With Malone expanding through purchases across Europe, Liberty Global now owns cable and phone operations stretching from Hungary to the U.K.
    | Apr. 20, 2015, 3:32 AM
  • Mar. 4, 2015, 12:57 PM
    • While rival Royal KPN (OTCPK:KKPNY +1%) is hoping to draw €1B in selling Base, its Belgian mobile division, France's Orange (NYSE:ORAN) -- which has a majority stake in Belgium's No. 2 provider Mobistar -- says it wants to stay in the country.
    • Orange's Gervais Pellissier says his company hasn't been contacted about the Base sale but: "Consolidation is necessary in the market and it would make sense for someone already in the country to buy it."
    • He expected if Mobistar got involved, in an effort to better take on market leader Belgacom, it would be tough to get the deal approved by regulators.
    • Strategic bidders or private-equity funds still seem the likely candidates to buy Base in a market hit by a price war and ripe for consolidation.
    | Mar. 4, 2015, 12:57 PM
  • Sep. 9, 2014, 9:05 AM
    • Telefonica Deutschland (OTC:TELDF) plans to issue new shares to finance part of its €8.6B ($11B) takeover of German rival E-Plus from KPN (OTCPK:KKPNY).
    • The company will raise approximately €3.6B in new capital to fund the acquisition, making it the largest German telecom operator with a customer base of over 43M clients.
    • Telefonica will issue roughly 1.1B in new shares at €3.24, with full dividend rights dated to Jan. 1, 2014. Shares not allotted or purchased will be assumed by the bank consortium underwriting the issuance.
    • Previously: EU clears Telefonica/E-Plus deal
    | Sep. 9, 2014, 9:05 AM
  • Jul. 2, 2014, 11:07 AM
    • As expected, the EU has cleared Telefonica's (TEF -1.1%) $12B acquisition of German rival E-Plus from KPN (KKPNY) following a series of concessions.
    • E-Plus and Telefonica's O2 Deutschland (TELDF) unit are promising to rent out up to 30% of the combined company's network capacity, divest some spectrum, and extend existing wholesale and 4G broadband resale deals to any service provider interested in them.
    • The EU expects the concessions to spawn the creation of up to 3 new MVNOs, and thus keep competition healthy even as the number of German mobile networks gets cut to 3.
    • The clearance is expected to fuel further mobile M&A activity on the continent. EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia has argued cutting roaming fees and enabling cross-border services is more important for industry health than having 4 carriers in a market.
    | Jul. 2, 2014, 11:07 AM
  • Jun. 6, 2014, 10:42 AM
    • The EU's antitrust division is "understood to be comfortable" with the concessions offered by Telefonica (TEF +0.3%) to secure approval of its $12B bid to acquire rival German mobile carrier E-Plus from KPN (KKPNY), the WSJ reports.
    • The concessions include allocating 30% of Telefonica/E-Plus' German spectrum for use by MVNOs, who have been especially nervous about a deal that lowers the number of carriers in Europe's biggest market to 3.
    • The EU recently signed off (following concessions) on the sale of Telefonica's O2 Ireland unit to rival Hutchison Whampoa. Approving the E-Plus deal could pave the way for consolidation in France and other EU markets.
    | Jun. 6, 2014, 10:42 AM