British-based Vodafone is to buy out its minority partners in its Arcor fixed-line telecommunications operations in Germany, sources in the board of the Deutsche Bahn railway company said in Berlin Thursday, the dpa reported.
The Arcor network, which was once earmarked for disposal by Vodafone, has become a core business as Germans sign up for combined high-speed internet access and mobile-phone contracts.
Vodafone, which operates wireless networks around the globe, has sought control of Arcor after realizing the benefits of an integrated business. Arcor is the biggest fixed-line competitor to former German monopoly Deutsche Telekom.
The wired network was established in the 1990s using the railway company's own telecommunications system as a backbone. Deutsche Bahn is to sell its 18-per-cent stake in Arcor for about 330 million euros, the sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
The newspaper Financial Times Deutschland was set to appear Friday with a matching report, noting that the board decision would disappoint Bahn chief financial officer Diethelm Sack's earlier hopes of obtaining up to 400 million euros from the sale.
The newspaper said Deutsche Bank, with an 8-per-cent stake in Arcor, was also willing to sell out to Vodafone.