Vodafone is considering a €7.6 billion ($10 billion) cash bid for German cable operator Kabel Deutschland after its original offer was trumped by Liberty Global, according to Reuters sources.
Vodafone made an offer for Kabel last week, believed to be worth €7.2 billion (or €81 per share), before Liberty Global tabled an €85 per share offer this week.
Vodafone is now considering an offer of between €85 and €86 per share, according to the sources, although an improved offer has not yet been tabled.
The UK-based mobile operator is said to be confident that an improved offer and absence of antitrust issues puts it in a better position than Liberty Global, which already owns the Unity Media cable operator in Germany.
The Liberty Global bid is likely to be scrutinised by regulators after Kabel Deutschland was forbidden from acquiring Berlin-based cable company Telecolumbus for €618 million in February.
Vodafone is keen to secure Kabel so it can offer fixed services to customers in addition to its core mobile services — and be able to compete more effectively with Deutsche Telekom.
Commerzbank analyst Heike Pauls suggested to Bloomberg that the Liberty offer is a tactical move to push up the price for Kabel and “make it more difficult” for Vodafone.
Neither company chose to comment on the reports.