Vodafone may raise its offer for Kabel Deutschland after a €7.2bn bid was rejected by Germany's biggest cable operator.
The British firm has confirmed that it made an offer to buy Kabel Deutschland but has not provided details, though three people familiar with the matter told Reuters that Vodafone sent a letter last week announcing its interest and indicating a price of €81 per share.
Another person close to the matter said they are now considering improving their bid after the initial offer was knocked back in order to secure the deal.
"The offer could come as soon as next week," the source said today.
The world's second-biggest mobile operator has long been looking for its most important European market to meet growing demand from customers for television, broadband, mobile and fixed-line services – so-called "quad play" – from one provider.
Vodafone declined to comment, but any deal, which would be Vodafone's largest since 2007, could help it better compete against mobile operators, which are cutting prices, and against the pan-European cable group Liberty Global, which has been on an acquisition spree.
Vodafone had 32 million customers in Germany at the end of March, making it the biggest mobile operator in the country. Kabel Deutschland is Germany's largest cable operator with about 15 million of the 28 million homes passed by cable.
Kabel Deutschland shares were up 3.2 per cent by 1:20pm after hitting another all-time high at €83.91. Vodafone shares were up 0.9 per cent.