E-Plus’ parent company KPN to acquire blau Mobilfunk
Dutch telecoms giant Royal KPN N.V. has entered into an agreement to acquire blau Mobilfunk GmbH (www.blau.de). The managing directors of blau – Dirk Freise, Martin Ostermayer, and Thorsten Rehling – will continue to head the company’s operations within unchanged organizational structures.
Headquartered in Hamburg/ Germany, blau has approx. 60 employees and is active in the German mobile telephony market with two brands: blau.de, offering the most competitive tariffs for national calls, and blauworld, targeting ethnic groups for low priced national and international calls. Further, the company has successfully entered into major branded reselling partnerships, e.g. with food store giant Plus. blau services are delivered through the E-Plus network.
Since its inception in 2005, blau Mobilfunk has grown into the only independent MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) in Germany that has managed to fortify its position as one of the most successful and fastest growing providers in the discount segment. In 2007 blau generated revenues of approx. EUR 42 million, fourfold the 2006 figure.
Martin Ostermayer, managing director of blau Mobilfunk GmbH: “As a subsidiary of one of Europe’s largest mobile telecommunications provider we expect even more support for our operations than we received through the previous partnership. Our successful brands blau.de and blauworld will continue within the multi-brand-strategy of KPN and E-Plus. The brands’ potential will come into effect even stronger in the future. We will emphasize the combined distribution of our brands via Internet and retail markets as well as the development of our branded reselling partnerships.” The acquisition is subject to approval by the German antitrust agency and is expected to be closed by April 2008.
Corporate Finance Partners acted as the exclusive adviser to blau Mobilfunk GmbH and its shareholders in this transaction.
About blau Mobilfunk GmbH:
blau Mobilfunk GmbH was founded in July 2005 by Martin Ostermayer, Thorsten Rehling and Dirk Freise, former executives of Bertelsmann and Freenet and founders of handy.de (today arvato mobile). Based in Hamburg/ Germany, blau operates and markets its no-frills brand blau.de and its ethnic product blauworld across Germany. Apart from selling blau products via the Internet, the Company has more than 10,000 PoS for its starter packages and approx. 30,000 PoS to top-up in place. In addition, the Company acts as an mobile virtual network enabler for such brands as debitel light and Mobilka. Former investors in blau include Neuhaus Capital Partners, Al-Fawares Construction & Development, Heliad Equity Partners, and debitel AG.