Deutsche Telekom ‘open for industrial partners’ for towers – CEO

ITS World Congress 2021 in Hamburg
FILE PHOTO: A man carrying his computer passes by the logo of German telecommunication company "Deutsche Telekom" at the ITS World Congress 2021, a fair for intelligent transport systems, in Hamburg, Germany, October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

November 18, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) – The CEO of Deutsche Telekom said he was open to finding an industrial partner for its towers infrastructure, days after Vodafone said it would consider opportunities for such a move for its recently-listed towers business.

“I’d love to have an industrial partner and I’m willing to deconsolidate,” Tim Hoettges told the Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media and Telecoms conference on Thursday.

But he said he wanted to retain a role in the decision making that would follow a deal, particularly in influencing any further mergers and acquistion.

“Deconsolidation makes to me total sense – I always said that by the way, I always said a minority IPO path doesn’t make sense,” he told the online conference.

“Second, I prefer an industrial solution, but I always need two to tango.”

“I’m open for partners,” he added. “Let’s find a good logic for this.”

Britain’s Vodafone listed its towers business in Frankfurt in March, selling 19% of the business to new investors.

While selling towers outright would bring in piles of cash, many telecoms firms are looking to spin off tower businesses, or launch joint ventures with independent companies, as a way to keep a chunk of potential future growth.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Jonathan Oatis)