Vodafone and Kabel Deutschland confirm takeover flirtation

Vodafone(s vod) has just winked suggestively at German cable provider Kabel Deutschland, the two companies have confirmed.

As both Vodafone and Kabel Deutschland said on Wednesday in near-identical statements, the British telecoms giant has made a preliminary approach regarding a possible takeover, but “there is no certainty that any offer will ultimately be made nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made.”

The Financial Times has noted that Vodafone has been eyeing up Kabel Deutschland since February at least, and also that John Malone’s Liberty Global(s lbtya) – which recently gobbled up Virgin Media in the UK to become the largest ISP outside China — might turn out to be a rival bidder.

For Vodafone, the second-biggest cellular carrier in Germany, Kabel Deutschland might prove a handy way to step up its fight against Deutsche Telekom(s dt), the country’s leading carrier on both mobile and fixed-line fronts.

Vodafone already has several million broadband subscribers in the country – funnily enough, it signed an agreement to resell Deutsche Telekom’s up-to-100Mbps VDSL connectivity just last month — but Kabel Deutschland has around 8.5 million subscribers, many of whom (such as myself) are already basking in the glow of similar speeds.