DT cable sale nears fruition

28 Jan 2003

According to reports in British broadsheet the Financial Times, Deutsche Telekom [DTEGn.MU] is close to finalising a deal to sell its six remaining cable networks to a consortium comprising Providence Equity Partners, Goldman Sachs and Apax Partners. The transaction is expected to raise between EUR1.7 billion and EUR2 billion in cash for the German telco, a figure which will barely make a dent in the group’s EUR64 billion debt. The telco promised last year to reduce its debt mountain to between EUR49.5 billion and EUR52.3 billion by the end of 2003, a figure which looks increasingly unattainable unless it agrees to large additional asset disposals. According to the newspaper the cable deal is conditional on financing being secured and the deal being cleared by the European Commission’s Competition Directorate. The buyers are expected to provide around a third of the total equity, with the rest financed by a short term bridge loan from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs; the latter will be refinanced through securitised debt at a later date.