The Dutch government is selling its remaining eight per cent stake in the Dutch telecoms group KPN for around 1.7 billion euros. The move keeps takeover speculation alive with Spain’s Telefonica mentioned as a possible predator. The company, led by CEO Ad Scheepbouwer, has been open to takeover deals since the government gave up its golden share in the company last year
KPN has a turnover of 12 billion euros – 57 per cent of its business is fixed network, 40 per cent is in mobile phones. Net income has increased sharply this year on the back of job cuts, higher German mobile phone revenue and new services including Internet calls.
Takeover speculation and an overhaul of its German operations have underpinned the company’s share price which is 33 per cent up on a year ago.
The Dutch government is selling to cut its debt. It has raised at least 10 billion euros since 2003 selling stakes in 18 companies, including KLM airlines.