Deutsche Telekom Said to Consider Options for Tower Assetsby , , and
Options may include a spinoff or IPO of infrastructure assets
Company is ``considering what would make sense for us''
Deutsche Telekom AG is considering options for its infrastructure assets, including its mobile-phone towers, potentially following in the footsteps of European rivals as telephone companies seek ways to raise cash, according to people familiar with the matter.
The German phone company and advisers are weighing a possible spinoff or initial public offering, which could value the assets in the billions of dollars, said the people, asking not to be named because the deliberations are private. Talks are still at an early stage and no final decisions have been made about which assets might be included, the people said. The company could decide to take no action, they said.
“Deutsche Telekom is aware of what some of our competitors are doing in this respect, and we are considering what could make sense for us and what not,” said Andreas Leigers, a company spokesman, declining to comment further.
Carving out the infrastructure that transmits phone signals can help companies raise cash and lower expenses associated with maintaining their networks. Thomas Dannenfeldt, Deutsche Telekom’s chief financial officer, said last month that the company would be open to evaluating options as its peers consider selling off their towers. The company has about 40,000 cell sites in Europe, he said
“On the tower sales, I think it’s something we are investigating,” Dannenfeldt said in a call with analysts in February. “It’s obvious and very clear that we have a very strong position here.”
Deutsche Telekom is closely monitoring a similar move by Spanish rival Telefonica SA, the people said. The Spanish phone company said in February that it’s considering an IPO of its newly created tower and submarine-cable unit Telxius. The deal follows other infrastructure transactions by Telecom Italia SpA and billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB.