Merged T-Mobile U.S. to close valuation gap on Big Two: Deutsche Telekom CEO

FILE PHOTO: Tim Hoettges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG, exits the Manhattan Federal Court following the first day in the T-Mobile/Sprint federal case in New York, U.S., December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

BONN, Germany (Reuters) - The merger between T-Mobile US TMUS.O and Sprint S.N is within reach, the head of its main owner Deutsche Telekom said, forecasting that the combined business would quickly close a valuation gap on market leaders AT&T T.N and Verizon VZ.N.

Highlighting the positive market reaction after a New York judge last week dismissed a lawsuit brought by more than a dozen U.S. states trying to block the deal, CEO Tim Hoettges said the ‘new’ T-Mobile would have a market value of around $120 billion.

That compares to $274 billion for AT&T and $242 billion for Verizon, he added in remarks prepared for a news conference on Wednesday. “That is a difference of around $120 billion. I see no reason why this cannot be reduced considerably,” he said.

The three main wireless carriers would have similar customer numbers of between 140 million and 150 million, he added: “That puts us on an equal footing and in a position to ramp up attacks on the competition.”

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Michelle Martin