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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mannesmann Braces

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Mannesmann AG is shoring up its defenses as it prepares for what could be a huge-scale takeover battle with Vodafone Airtouch PLC of Britain.

Vodafone, the leading mobile phone operator, is still wavering about whether it will initiate a $100 billion hostile bid for the German company, three weeks after executives close to Vodafone indicated that such an offer was one of the options the company was considering.

The discussions within Vodafone began after Mannesmann offered $33 billion to acquire Orange PLC, the third-largest mobile phone operator in Britain, setting itself up as a rival in Vodafone's home territory