Sweden's EQT is still interested in buying Dutch telecom KPN, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, even as shares in the company slid after it rejected the private equity firm's takeover proposal. KPN said on Sunday the proposal by EQT AB and another by KKR of the United States, which it has also rejected, lacked merit. Separately the Dutch government repeated it has the power to block unwanted takeovers of telecommunications companies.
"Boards of KPN concluded that both approaches fail to provide tangible and material added value over KPN’s recently updated growth strategy," the company said in a statement. It said there had been no discussions or negotiations with EQT, Stonepeak or KKR, adding that the EQT-Stonepeak proposition did not include an offer price. In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that private investors, including EQT, sought to pay 3 euros per share for the top Dutch telecoms provider.
KPN NV on Thursday declined to comment on a media report that said private investors including EQT of Sweden were preparing an attempt to buy the top Dutch telecoms provider. A KPN spokeswoman said the company would not comment on "rumours". A report in the Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the matter that EQT might seek to pay 3 euros ($3.56) per share for KPN this spring, working together with New York-based Stonepeak Infrastructure partners.