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Vodafone Seals Mannesmann Merger
Posted: 04-Feb-2000 [Source: Reuters]

[Mannesmann's supervisory board met today and approved the 180 billion euro (US$ 178.7 billion) takeover. ]

Duesseldorf -- "Vodafone AirTouch Plc sealed the world's biggest takeover on Friday when it agreed a merger with Germany's Mannesmann AG.

"Mannesmann's supervisory board approved the 180 billion euro ($178.7 billion) takeover to create Europe's biggest telecoms company after a three-month takeover battle.

"Mannesmann Chief Executive Klaus Esser told reporters after a board meeting on Friday that the supervisory board, which includes top industrialists and employees, experienced tension in discussing Vodafone's offer, but no dissent.

"Esser, who steadfastly rejected the bid as undervalued until Vodafone raised its offer by five percent to 58.96 Vodafone shares per Mannesmann share, declared himself ``proud and happy'' at the deal.

"Esser will become deputy chairman of the merged group after waging a vigorous campaign against Vodafone chief Chris Gent, during which he argued his vision for European fixed, mobile and Internet businesses would deliver greater shareholder value.

"Shares in both Vodafone and Mannesmann fell on Friday as investors locked in profits after the stocks' three-month surge on speculation the tie-up would go through.

"Mannesmann ended 1.06 percent lower at 322.05 euros while Vodafone in London dropped 5.02 percent to 346-1/2p.

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