Esser urges Vodafone to raise takeover bid
"We would have to consider any new bid which is made," he said. "We would reconsider any small, medium or large change and our reaction would be whether the change is important enough to really make a difference." He added that an appropriate price would top 300 euros.
Mr Esser, who said shareholders have "overwhelmingly" supported his rejection of the Vodafone offer, conceded that "it is too early to say what shareholders want." He added that accepting Vodafone's bid would be "almost the most stupid thing we could do".
The German chief executive's road show to visit Mannesmann shareholders is expected to last another fortnight, but could extend into the new year. Under German law, Mannesmann directors may present new information until Vodafone presents its formal offer document.
But that opening allowing Mr Esser to continue the fight back could close sooner than expected, should a Dusseldorf court back a shareholders group that has filed an injunction against Mannesmann's board. The group claims the board's opposition to Vodafone's offer is against their interests. The court could make a decision today or schedule a hearing for next week.
Yesterday Mr Esser reiterated his key themes in opposition to the offer, the world's biggest. These include Mannesmann's expected 30 per cent plus operating cash flow growth through 2003; its better strategic position due to controlling its main business units; and its combination of wireless and fixed-line networks.
Chris Gent, the Vodafone chief executive, said: "The question that Mannesmann consistently fails to address is what it can do better by itself than with Vodafone AirTouch." Vodafone's stock closed down 4.5 per cent at 312p, while Mannesmann ended down 3.4 per cent at 231.75 euros.
Anonymity order lifted for triple child killer David McGreavy jailed in 1973
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Plenty of Fish dating site founder pulls 'Intimate Encounters' option to ward off sleazy men
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism in St Peter’s Square
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 3 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 4 Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.