Deutsche Telekom ponders towers partnership

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The chief executive of Deutsche Telekom says that the company is ready for long-awaited strategic review of the company’s towers business, Deutsche Funkturm, but says that outright sale is not under consideration.

Speaking at a conference on 13 November, Tim Hoettges says that the board is “open for discussions on making this asset transparent.”  He says that no decision had yet been taken to pursue an initial public offering or seek a partner with which to develop the business but adds: “I’m not in the mood for just selling.”

Hoettges hints that he would be particularly keen on a deal with Cellnex, the Spanish company which is the European market leader in telecom towers, and underlined that the business should extend its horizons beyond Germany but implied that no detailed discussions have yet taken place with Cellnex.

In turn, Cellnex’s chief executive Tobias Martinez says that Cellnex has the capital and the desire for further deals, despite its recent €2.5bn acquisition of Arqiva. Martinez implies that he is willing in principle to discuss the sort of deal that Deutsche Telekom seems to have in mind but implies that this is purely theoretical at the moment.

Munster-based Deutsche Funkturm owns 30,000 towers throughout Germany and has annual revenue of around €660m.

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