Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Tele2 announced today that they have entered into an agreement to sell T-Mobile Netherlands to WP/AP Telecom Holdings IV, a consortium jointly controlled by funds advised by private equity groups Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus, for an enterprise value of EUR5.1 billion (USD6.05 billion). The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and consultation with employee representatives. Upon closing, German giant DT will receive approximately EUR3.8 billion net cash proceeds for its 75% stake in the Dutch cellco (net of proceeds to 25% shareholder Tele2 and other debt items including the repayment of DT’s shareholder loans to T-Mobile Netherlands). The deal implies an equity value of approximately EUR860 million for Tele2’s 25% stake, the Swedish telecoms group announced in a separate press release.
T-Mobile Netherlands CEO Soren Abildgaard declared that the mobile and fixed network operator is ‘better positioned than ever and as a management team we are excited to partner with Apax and Warburg Pincus to execute the next phase of our growth story.’ Thorsten Langheim, DT board member for group development, added: ‘In Apax and Warburg Pincus we are convinced we have found the perfect partners for T-Mobile NL to take the company to the next level of growth and continue the FMC [fixed-mobile convergence] Challenger Strategy.’ The sale concludes DT’s strategic review of T-Mobile Netherlands begun in May 2021 and follows the EUR700 million divestiture of its Dutch mobile tower business earlier this year.
Tele2 CEO Kjell Johnsen said: ‘We are very happy with the development of our strategic ownership in T-Mobile Netherlands during the last few years. I am proud of the achievements of our colleagues in the Netherlands and I am sure they can come even further together with Apax and Warburg Pincus. This successful sale will conclude Tele2’s international consolidation and we will now continue our strategy to focus on our core operations in Sweden and the Baltics.’
DT and Tele2 completed the legal merger of their Dutch subsidiaries in January 2019, with Tele2 NL absorbed by T-Mobile Netherlands before being transformed into a sub-brand of the Dutch operator, which also acquired MVNO Simpel in December 2020. Recent speculation on the sale of T-Mobile Netherlands had included a potential bid from Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries (owner of Indian mobile market leader Jio).