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Dutch KPN shares jump 7% on reports of possible takeover interest

AMSTERDAM, Oct 12 (Reuters) - KPN shares jumped more than 7% on Monday, buoyed by possible takeover interest in the main Dutch telecom provider.

Bloomberg on Friday reported that European private equity firm EQT was considering a potential bid for KPN.

The buyout firm was said to be in early discussions with possible advisers on the feasibility of a deal, without any final decision having been made.

KPN and EQT declined to comment on the report.

Shares in KPN traded up 7.5% at 0805 GMT in Amsterdam, reaching their highest level in three months. KPN shares had lost 15% since the start of the year until Friday.

KBC Securities analysts on Monday said a deal could make sense considering EQT’s ownership of fiberglass supplier Delta Fiber, which has the second-largest fiber footprint in the Netherlands after KPN.

A deal could be opposed by the company and Dutch government.

A new law adopted this year gives the government the option to block takeovers of Dutch telecom companies if they are deemed a threat to national security.

KPN also has a strong defence against unwanted takeovers, in the form of a foundation that can build up a controlling stake to block any deal.

This proved successful in 2013, when KPN won a lengthy battle against unsolicited interest from Mexico’s America Movil . (Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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