Rumours of Vodafone Airtouch’s hostile bid for Mannesmann began on
Monday 8 November, sparking a bitter battle. ’Germany ought to welcome
takeovers as being the stimulus its presently moribund economy needs,’
said James Hanson in Sunday Business (28/11/99).
It was widely reported that Mannesmann’s High Court attempt to block
Goldman Sachs from advising Vodafone was thrown out. The German
engineering company went silent for an entire week while Vodaphone CEO
Chris Gent began his charm offensive with Mannesmann’s shareholders.
But then Canning Fok, MD of Hutchinson, which still holds a stake in
Orange after selling it to Mannesmann, said: ’Mannesmann and Orange will
be better positioned than Vodaphone in the telecom business,’ (Daily
Mannesmann boss Klaus Esser bounced back by announcing the demerger of
his engineering business and appealing to shareholders to decide. The
ball was back with Mannesmann.
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research. Cuttings supplied by the
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