Deutsche Telekom to tap bond market

19 Feb 2003

Deutsche Telekom has announced plans to launch a EUR2.3 billion bond issue through its Dutch subsidiary Deutsche Telekom International Finance as part of efforts to reduce its EUR64 billion debt mountain. The final amount raised will depend on the value of Deutsche Telekom’s shares when the bond is priced and could therefore increase by as much as 10%. Mandatory convertible bonds allow the borrower to raise money immediately while delaying the issue of shares until a set date in the future, in this case 2006. The move is key to new CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke’s debt-reduction efforts. Mr Ricke, who took over after the departure of Ron Sommer late last year, has committed to lowering borrowings by EUR12 billion this year in a bid to maintain the German PTO’s investment grade credit rating. He has already overseen the sale of property, a 10.87% stake in Eutelsat and around 10% of T-Online International, as well as brokering deals which will lead to the divestment of its six cable TV subsidiaries and a 16.3% holding in Ukrainian cellco UMC. The bond issue will be Deutsche Telekom’s third this year, following the sale of EUR1 billion in five-year notes and EUR500 million in 30-year bonds last month.