Vodafone Group Confirms Kabel Deutschland Approach

LONDON -- Vodafone  (LSE: VOD  ) (NASDAQ: VOD  ) slumped 10 pence, or 5%, to 182 pence during early trade this morning after the shares went ex-dividend and the telecoms group issued a statement about Kabel Deutschland.

The FTSE 100 member confirmed it had made a preliminary approach to Kabel Deutschland regarding a possible offer for the company. Vodafone added there was no certainty any offer would be made.

Bloomberg reported this morning that Vodafone had contacted the German firm last week to discuss a potential offer. Serving more than 8 million households, Kabel Deutschland is Germany's largest cable operator and sports a market cap in excess of 7 billion euros.

Bloomberg claimed formal talks between the companies had yet to start because Vodafone's indicated bid was "too low."

Kabel Deutschland's shares rallied 7% to 79 euros during early Frankfurt trading today. Ongoing speculation of an approach from the British blue chip has helped the German shares surge 79% during the last twelve months.

Last month Vodafone declared a 6.92 pence per share final dividend, which will be distributed to anyone that held the shares before this morning.

Vodafone's 10.19 pence per share full-year payout now supports a 5.6% income for anyone wishing to buy today. However, the blue chip has said it "aims at least to maintain" its next dividend, suggesting next-to-no income growth in the near term.

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