Spanish telco Telefónica has said it will launch a public tender to take full ownership of its German unit, which trades under the name O2, but is formally known as Telefónica Deutschland.

The company has offered €2.35 ($2.51) per share, for the 28.19 percent of the German company which is owned by other bodies.

– Telefonica

The cash offer represents a 37.6 percent premium on the German unit's closing price on Monday (November 6).

Telefónica currently (directly and indirectly) holds approximately 71.81 percent of the shares in Telefonica Deutschland and also has the right to acquire approximately 1.32 percent of shares in its German subsidiary.

Telefónica said the offer is expected to start in December and run until mid-January. According to the operator, the offer is not subject to a minimum acceptance threshold.

Telefónica Deutschland has a market value of around €5 billion, and reported 2023 profits of €125 million to September 30.

"Telefónica intends to promote a revision of the current Telefónica Deutschland dividend policy beyond the already-confirmed EUR 0.18 dividend per share for financial year 2023 and expected to be paid in 2024," said the telco earlier this week.

Statista notes that Telefónica Deutschland (O2) has more than 26.7 million mobile subscribers across Germany.

Telefónica Germany was founded in 1995 as Viag Interkom. It was a joint venture between BT, Viag (now E.On), and Telenor.

When BT bought out Viag in 2001, and spun off its mobile business as mmO2, the unit became O2 . Telefónica acquired the company in 2005, and the merged it with Germany's Hanenet in 2010. 23 percent of the company was sold in 2012.