Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's president, has hinted that the software giant may take a stake in German telecoms giant, Deutsche Telekom (DT).
He told the German Handlesblatt newspaper that the firm's aim was to secure new opportunities to sell its products and that while taking a stake in DT was not its main target, "it would be alright if talks led to an investment".
Such speculation has been circulating for a while, and last week, German media group Bertelsmann confirmed that it was considering whether to make a joint bid with Microsoft for part of DT's cable TV network.
Meanwhile, DT said on Friday that it would float 1.74 billion shares on the German Stock Exchange on 18 June to increase its DAX weighting to 13 per cent from the current five per cent. The move would make it the most heavily weighted stock on the DAX index, and the shares will come from previously unlisted stakes in the company held by the German Government and financial organisation, Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau.
The firm also plans to float another 256.3 million shares on 25 June, which will come from a previously authorised capital increase.
The news caused the value of DT's American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) to increase by $3.50 or 10 per cent to $39.75, boosting a share price that had been flagging since its failed takeover bid for Telecom Italia.
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