Deutsche Telekom looks to sell off German mobile masts: sources

Fri Jul 1, 2016 8:44am EDT
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By Arno Schuetze

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: Quote) is preparing to sell thousands of German mobile phone masts in a potential 5 billion-euro ($5.5 billion) deal as it seeks to free up funds for investing in its European networks, two sources close to the matter said.

The German company has appointed Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote) to organize an auction of the German masts, which it plans to launch in the autumn and which it hopes will value the assets at 4-5 billion euros including debt, they said.

Deutsche Telekom is planning to send out first information packages on the business to prospective buyers after the summer break and will, depending on their feedback, decide on whether it sells all or just a stake in the business, or ultimately decides to keep it.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Telekom declined to comment.

The group, which in 2012 sold its U.S. towers business to Crown Castle (CCI.N: Quote) for $2.4 billion, is not alone among the mobile network operators selling such infrastructure to raise capital and cut debt.

Telefonica Deutschland (O2Dn.DE: Quote) (TEF.MC: Quote) in April agreed to sell its 2,350 towers to Telxius, which was set up by its Spanish parent Telefonica earlier this year to hold its 11,500 masts in Spain as well as some data centers and domestic subsea cables, with a view to a stock market listing or trade sale.

Telecom Italia said in May that it would decide within months on options for its remaining 60 percent stake in Infrastrutture Wireless Italiane (INWIT) (INWT.MI: Quote).

And last year Carlos Slim's America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote) spun off its wireless transmission towers and listed its shares on the Mexican stock market. The shares are down 14 percent since the IPO in late December.   Continued...

People walk past the logo of German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG seen at the Telekom's headquarters in Bonn February 25, 2016.    REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo