Deutsche Telekom offloads Eutelsat, announces new debt reduction measures

16 Dec 2002

Deutsche Telekom [NYSE: DT] has said that it has agreed to sell its 10.87% holding in Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat as well as a raft of non-core assets worth up to EUR8.5 billion in a bid to trim debt to between EUR50 billion and EUR53 billion by the end of 2003. The German giant will sell the Eutelsat stake for EUR210 million to a newly created Luxembourg-based group owned by the Italian publishing group De Agostini and 21 Investimenti, a venture capital fund controlled by the Benetton family. DT, which has been trying to divest its Eutelsat interest for several months, will retain a small interest in the new group. The divestment follows the recent sale of 8% of T-Online for EUR610 million and forms part of new CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke’s plans to tackle DT’s staggering EUR64 billion of debt by slashing investments and scrapping a EUR1.6 billion dividend payout. Other DT assets believed to be up for grabs include its domestic TV cable business (estimated to raise up to EUR2.3 billion), various real estate interests (EUR4 billion) and possibly its stakes in Globe Telecom, Celcom, SES Global, DeTeMedien, Mobile Telesystems, Matav and Inmarsat.