Surprising buyer: Deutsche Telekom sells its radio towers

As expected, Deutsche Telekom has sold its radio tower division. However, the previously favored consortium was not awarded the contract. In addition, Telekom secures a right of repurchase.

Surprisingly, Deutsche Telekom has not sold 51 percent of its radio tower division GD Towers (the radio tower business of the Telekom group in Germany and Austria) to the consortium of KKR, Stonepeak and GIP, as was speculated until Wednesday evening. Instead, the radio towers go to the Canadian investment company Brookfield and the US investor Digital Bridge. Both companies together pay 17.5 billion euros to Telekom.

However, 49 percent of the radio tower division will remain with Deutsche Telekom. Telekom may also nominate two out of five members of the Shareholder Committee, including the first chairman. The contract is to run for 30 years and regulate access to the radio towers in detail. Telekom also retains a buy-back right. Telekom Germany and Magenta Austria will continue to have unrestricted access to the passive infrastructure of GD Towers via a long-term lease agreement of around 30 years, as Telekom emphasizes.

With around 800 employees, GD Towers operates more than 40,000 locations in Germany and Austria. GD Towers had a pro forma turnover of 1.1 billion euros in 2021. The adjusted pro forma EBITDA AL amounted to 640 million euros in 2021, as announced by Telekom. The buyers DigitalBridge and Brookfield are already active in the European cell tower sector.

Telekom’s supervisory board approved the sale on Wednesday evening. The sale still has to be approved by the antitrust authorities. The sale is expected to close by the end of 2022.

Telekom wants to use the proceeds to repay part of its debts and also increase its stake in T-Mobile US and reach 50.1 percent of the shares there.

Deutsche Telekom wants to sell its radio towers – will a decision be made today?

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