(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Telekom AG is nearing a deal to sell its Dutch unit, which could fetch around 5 billion euros ($5.9 billion) and rank as one of its largest divestments of recent years, people familiar with the matter said.
The German company could announce a sale of T-Mobile Netherlands in the coming days after collecting final bids last week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. A consortium backed by Warburg Pincus and Apax Partners is seen as a strong contender, though other suitors have also been vying for the business, the people said.
The sale also attracted interest from Apollo Global Management Inc. and Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., Bloomberg News has reported. No final decisions have been reached, and negotiations on a potential deal could drag on longer or fall apart, the people said.
A spokesperson for Deutsche Telekom declined to comment. Representatives for Apax and Warburg Pincus didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The potential deal would be one of the largest transactions in the European telecom sector this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Warburg Pincus and Apax previously teamed up in 2019 to take U.K. satellite company Inmarsat Plc private in a $3.4 billion buyout deal.
Deutsche Telekom has been working with Morgan Stanley on the sale, Bloomberg News has reported. It entered the Dutch mobile-phone market in 2000, acquiring a stake in a venture with Belgacom SA and Tele Danmark. The business was renamed T-Mobile Netherlands in 2003 after the German carrier bought the remainder.
It considered a sale of the unit in 2015 to raise funds to buy wireless frequencies in the U.S., before deciding to keep the business. In 2019, T-Mobile Netherlands merged with Tele2 AB’s operations in the country to create one of the biggest local carriers.
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