The telco could sell a minority or a majority stake, sources said.
Deutsche Telekom is reviewing proposals to sell a majority or minority stake in its towers business, according to a report in Reuters. They are choosing from a slew of financial and corporate investors that have approached the German company with takeover options, sources told Reuters.
Bidders including Vodafone’s masts unit Vantage Towers and a consortium of KKRand GIP have submitted bids to buy either 51% of Deutsche Funkturm GmbH or take a minority interest, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The business, which is valued at up to 18 billion euros ($19.56 billion), has also drawn interest from Spanish mobile telephone infrastructure operator Cellnex and U.S.-based American Tower Corp, the sources said.
Cellnex, advised by JPMorgan, is only looking at a deal that would give it majority control of DFMG rather than becoming a financial partner to Deutsche Telekom through a minority investment, a separate source said.
The deal could face regulatory scrutiny
Deutsche Telekom, Vantage Towers, Cellnex and American Tower declined to comment, while KKR and GIP were not immediately available.
While Deutsche Telekom chief executive officer Tim Hoettges had initially signalled he wanted to “de-consolidate” the business – which operates 40,600 masts across Germany – the company could still favour a minority stake sale to a financial investor as a way to extract value in the near-term, the sources said.
Deutsche Telekom aims to clinch a deal by the middle of the year although discussions could only be finalised in September depending on the complexity of the deal, the sources said.
The German telecoms giant has yet to set a deadline for final bids as it is still assessing the merits of each proposal, the sources said.
Any tie-up with an industry player already active in Germany – such as Vantage Towers – would immediately trigger a lengthy regulatory review, they said.