June 28, 2017 / 1:38 PM / a year ago

Few Drillisch shares tendered in United Internet cash offer

FRANKFURT, June 28 (Reuters) - Only 1.2 percent of outstanding shares of Drillisch have been tendered in an offer that peer United Internet was forced to make after acquiring more than 30 percent of the low-cost mobile operator in a share swap, the two companies said on Wednesday.

A total of 839,170 Drillisch shares were tendered for a 50-euro-per-share offer, as Drillisch shares traded around 53.63 euros each.

United Internet and Drillisch are in the process of combining their businesses, valued at 8 billion euros ($9.07 billion) when completed, to create Germany’s fourth-largest telecoms operator and giving Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland serious competition.

The next hurdle is Drillisch’s extraordinary shareholder meeting on July 25, where investors will vote on the final stage of the transaction, in which United Internet’s stake in Drillisch is planned to rise to 72.7 percent.

The cash offer that just ended was triggered by Drillisch’s buying 7.75 percent of United Internet’s 1&1 broadband brand for which it paid in own shares, bringing United Internet’s stake in Drillisch to more than 30 percent.

The offer of 50 euros per share, when published in May, represented an 8.2-percent premium over Drillisch’s three-month volume weighted average share price and was considered a low-ball offer even then.

Drillisch Chief Executive Vlasios Choulidis, repeated on Wednesday that he had received positive feedback in almost all of his conversations with shareholders and that he was optimistic that the deal will be approved at the EGM. ($1 = 0.8824 euros) (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)

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