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The Dutch government said on Friday that it was selling its remaining 8 per cent stake in KPN, the the former state-owned telecommunications incumbent.
The move could intensify the ongoing takeover speculation that has surrounded KPN. In December last year, the Dutch government halved its 16 per cent stake in the company and relinquished its “golden share” veto on mergers and takeovers.
KPN is facing growing competition from cable companies in its core telephony market, although it raised its full-year guidance for operating earnings in August on the back of better-than-expected interim results.
On Friday, the Dutch finance ministry said was selling its remaining 167m ordinary shares in KPN. Of those, 87m are being sold through an accelerated book-built offering run by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
The telecoms company said it had agreed to repurchase the remaining 80m of the shares for a total consideration of about €800m, and would then cancel them.
KPN said it would use the remaining €241m of the €1bn share buyback programme that it announced in February this year to buy the shares.
“Following this, the share repurchase programme will be finalised,” the company said. “In total, KPN will have repurchased shares for a total value of €1.56bn this year.”
Shares in KPN slipped 1.6 per cent to €9.88 in morning trading.