Reports have it that Dutch telecoms giant KPN is on sale for over US$15 billion and two private equity companies are reportedly teaming up to buy it.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that New York-based Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and Swedish investment company, EQT plan to put forward a proposal offering €3 per share for KPN ahead of due diligence.
Meanwhile, KPN shares were valued at €2.88 at the last close in Europe.
EQT’s interest in KPN is not new, as Bloomberg reported in October 2020 the company was assessing a bid for the operator, however no formal approach materialized then.
KPN operates mobile, fixed-line and TV services in the Netherlands, but has faced increased competition in recent years from VodafoneZiggo, a joint venture of Liberty Global and Vodafone Group.
The company has attracted several suitors over the years, with its largest shareholder, America Movil attempting to acquire the company in 2013, although the deal was blocked by an independent panel designed to protect the company from unwanted takeovers.
In 2019, reports emerged that investment company Brookfield Asset Management was contemplating a deal to buy KPN.
WSJ sources added Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and EQT could also team with another partner on the bid.
Meanwhile, a takeover is likely to face resistance from the Dutch government, with KPN’s networks classified as critical to national safety the state has the right to veto any approaches under a new law put into force in 2020