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January 3, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:25pm

THYSSEN COZIES UP TO BELLSOUTH AGAIN ON E-PLUS

By CBR Staff Writer

German diversified steelmaker Thyssen AG is said to be seeking to draw Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp into its telecommunications camp, and according to Reuter in Bonn, the talks center on relaunching an earlier plan to set up a jointly-held company that would offer comprehensive telecommunication services in Germany when markets are deregulated in 1998. But the intriguing new proposal is that Thyssen and BellSouth should hand their stakes in E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH, the third German cellular operator over to the new company and thereby give it a majority stake in E- Plus. This in turn would enable the new venture to lay down the law at the new venture so as to turn it into the main means of delivery of telecommunications services to both business and residential customers. Thyssen holds a 30.1% stake in E-Plus and BellSouth owns around 22.5%; Veba AG is also a significant shareholder. Separately, BellSouth Corp confirmed it is offering $1.50 per share for 54% to 64% of Peruvian cellular phone company Tele 2000. A 54% stake would cost $100m, it said. BellSouth has agreed to buy 38% of Tele 2000 from two major shareholders, one of them Tele 2000’s chairman, Genaro Delgado Parker. If BellSouth’s tender offer is successful, BellSouth and Parker would jointly hold 90% or more of Tele 2000, which holds cellular rights to serve Lima and parts of western Peru. It also provides cable television and paging services. BellSouth already has stakes in cellular telephone operating companies in Argentina, Chile, Uraguay, Venezuela and Panama.

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