France Telecom Buys Stake in Germany's Mobilcom

PARIS (03/24/2000) - France Télécom SA agreed yesterday to acquire a 28.5 percent stake in German fixed and mobile operator MobilCom AG, giving it a foothold in the German telecommunications market.

The companies will also create a joint venture to bid for one of the licenses to operate a third-generation UMTS (universal system for mobile telecommunications) network to be auctioned this year by the German Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, France Télécom said in a statement.

The French operator will invest 3.74 billion euros (US$3.63 billion) in MobilCom, but does not plan to increase its stake in the near future, the company said in a statement yesterday. The investment will leave Gerhard Schmid, MobilCom's founder and chairman of its executive board, with around 40 percent of the share capital. Starting in 2003, France Télécom may buy further shares in MobilCom from Schmid, according to the statement.

The deal has yet to receive the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities, France Télécom, based in Paris, can be reached at +33-1-44-44-22-22 or on the Web at http://www.francetelecom.fr/. MobilCom, based in Rendsburg-Büdelsdorf, Germany, can be reached at +49-43-31-69-11-75 or on the Web at http://www.mobilcom.de/.

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