Buying failing Alt-Nets, No No No.
From an M/A perspective that is the way to acquire a whole load of debt.
Logically they'd buy the assets, not the company. That hangs investors and lenders of the altnet out to dry, but that's what happens when a company goes bust.
If they haven't yet gone bust, then any sensible buyer either waits until they do, or negotiates from such a position of strength that the debt holders agree a partial recovery, in exchange for the equity holders being flushed screaming down the toilet. Things are different if there's a competition (eg both CityFibre and VMO2 were interested), and then there's a dangerous game of bluff - both parties want the assets for the lowest price, if they don't get it they want to bid the price up for their competitor but without then being saddled with the over-bid assets.
As a broad rule (supported by years of research), any corporate buyer like VMO2 will make a complete pig's ear of M&A. Vodafone have made incompetent M&A the cornerstone of their strategy, and Lutz is keen to get in on the action himself. M&A always makes incompetent CEO's get all lathered up, because it's a welcome distraction from the boring and mundane hard work that is involved in running a business well.