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    KPN   NL0000009082

ROYAL KPN N.V.

(KPN)
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Buyout fund EQT in early takeover talks with KPN - source

11/12/2020 | 10:10am EDT
FILE PHOTO: KPN logo is seen at its headquarters in Rotterdam

* EQT has approached KPN and Dutch government officials - source

* Discussions are at an early stage - source

* Dutch government has power to block a takeover

* EQT could use DeltaFiber for partial merger - source (Recasts, adds sourcing, context)

LONDON/AMSTERDAM, Nov 12 (Reuters) - European private equity fund EQT is holding preliminary talks with KPN NV over a possible takeover bid that could value the largest Dutch telecommunications company at about $13 billion, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

EQT has approached both KPN's management and the Dutch government in recent weeks to discuss a possible deal, the source said.

The buyout fund, founded in Sweden in 1994 and led by Chief Executive Christian Sinding, is working with JPMorgan on a possible deal, the source said, but negotiations are still at an early stage and no deal is certain.

KPN's top investor America Movil, which owns 16% of the Dutch firm, has not been informed of the discussions, which were first reported by Bloomberg, the source added.

EQT and KPN declined to comment while America Movil was not immediately available.

KPN shares rose almost 6.5% on Thursday to 2.64 euros.

On October 28, KPN boss Joost Farwerck told reporters during the company's third-quarter results that KPN was not planning on being bought but remained open to interest.

"If somebody comes along with an interesting proposal, we can always listen, but we're not focused on it," he said.

KPN, which has a market value of 11 billion euros, competes with VodafoneZiggo and T-Mobile in the highly concentrated Dutch market and has suffered a decade-long decline in sales. Farwerck has said he does not expect a quick revival.

EQT owns the Netherlands' second-largest fiber optic network, DeltaFiber, and may use it as a vehicle to buy parts of KPN's fiber business and extract some synergies, or cost efficiencies, if an outright takeover fails to win the blessing of Dutch government officials, the source said.

In May, the Dutch government passed a law that allows it to block takeovers of companies in the telecommunications sector that it deems to be not in the interest of national security.

"Any deal for KPN needs to be friendly. EQT will never go hostile," the source said.

The Netherlands' Economic Affairs ministry, which oversees KPN, did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

An attempt to buy KPN for 8 euros per share in 2013, by America Movil, floundered on KPN's poison pill defenses, which are still in place. (Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London and Toby Sterling in Amsterdam; Editing by Jane Merriman, Elaine Hardcastle, Kirsten Donovan)


ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMÉRICA MÓVIL, S.A.B. DE C.V. -0.76% 15.65 End-of-day quote.8.01%
EQT AB (PUBL) -1.25% 306.9 Delayed Quote.47.72%
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. -0.15% 150.21 Delayed Quote.18.38%
ROYAL KPN N.V. -0.86% 2.644 Real-time Quote.7.24%
T-MOBILE US 0.11% 145.82 Delayed Quote.8.14%
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Financials
Sales 2021 5 224 M 6 237 M 6 237 M
Net income 2021 541 M 646 M 646 M
Net Debt 2021 5 693 M 6 796 M 6 796 M
P/E ratio 2021 20,5x
Yield 2021 5,19%
Capitalization 11 194 M 13 328 M 13 365 M
EV / Sales 2021 3,23x
EV / Sales 2022 3,17x
Nbr of Employees 9 237
Free-Float 79,8%
Chart ROYAL KPN N.V.
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Technical analysis trends ROYAL KPN N.V.
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Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 24
Last Close Price 2,67 €
Average target price 3,12 €
Spread / Average Target 16,9%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Joost F. E. Farwerck Chairman-Management Board, CEO & COO
Chris H. Figee Chief Financial Officer
Duco W. Sickinghe Chairman-Supervisory Board
Babak Fouladi Chief Technology & Digital Officer
Derk Johan Haank Vice Chairman-Supervisory Board
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