Deutsche Telekom’s decision to sell its Dutch subsidiary T-Mobile Netherlands has attracted interest from private equity groups Apax and CVC. A report from Reuters, which cites ‘sources familiar with the matter’, says the two firms are now preparing their rival bids, with the Dutch operator being valued at up to EUR3 billion (USD3.4 billion). The bidders have been asked to submit indicative offers by Monday 16 November. The source also suggests that bids could be forthcoming from other private equity firms, including Bain Capital and Providence, while the French telecoms group Iliad and the international cable TV and broadband operator Liberty Global have also been linked as potential buyers.
DT is looking to exit the very competitive Dutch telecoms market, which is increasingly focussing on the provision of converged bundles of fixed and mobile services from the likes of KPN, Vodafone and Liberty Global’s UPC unit (which offers mobile services via an MVNO agreement). Meanwhile this week has also seen the full commercial launch of a new LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) 4G mobile network from Tele2 Netherlands, further adding to T-Mobile’s competition. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, T-Mobile claimed around 20% of the Netherlands’ 18.3 million mobile users at the end of June, behind Vodafone with 28% and KPN with 51%.