Deutsche Tel keeps options open for US arm

Michael Carroll
10 Mar 2011

Deutsche Telekom’s finance chief says the firm will take its time to find the best solution for its troubled US business, amid rumors of a deal with Sprint.

Tim Höttges told TelecomAsia the firm is mulling several options for T-Mobile USA, but noted there is no pressure to rush into any deals to boost the position of the loss-making division.

“All options remain open in the United States,” Höttges says, adding. “We have a flexible position and are looking into several possibilities.”

Those ‘possibilities’ include “disposing of parts or all of the business,” an IPO “or just entering into a network partnership,” the CFO noted.

Reports late yesterday indicated the German incumbent was in talks with US carrier Sprint regarding the sale of T-Mobile USA in return for a chunk of shares in the merged company, Bloomberg states, however a DT spokesman declined to “comment on speculations.”

The telco unveiled sweeping financial reforms for its US business in January, designed to return it to growth by the year-end. It has parachuted Philipp Humm into the chief executive seat to lead the transformation, noting one of his main priorities will be to reduce subscriber churn, which contributed to a 7% fall in 2010 EBITDA to $5.5 billion (€3.9 billion).

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