Thursday, 18 August, 2022

Deutsche Telekom sells majority stake in masts business

FRANKFURT: German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom said Thursday it was selling the majority stake of its masts business to two North American investment funds for 10.7 billion euros ($10.7 billion), in one of the largest digital infrastructure deals this year.

Canadian fund Brookfield Asset Management and US-based DigitalBridge teamed up to take a 51-percent share in the operator's tower business, after a months-long bidding war, reports AFP.

Deutsche Telekom owns more than 33,000 mobile antennae in Germany alone, including Berlin's iconic TV tower.

Its masts portfolio is valued at around $20 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

A rival consortium led by US investment fund KKR had also expressed interest in the acquisition, as had Spanish giant Cellnext before it pulled out of the race, according to German media.

Mobile phone operators have in recent years taken to selling off or floating their tower businesses in order to slash debt or invest in new technologies.

They have found strong appetite among private equity investors, drawn by the prospect of stable returns amid increasing demand for digital connectivity, driven by data growth and the rollout of 5G. Last year, Spain's heavily-indebted Telefonica sold its telephone masts in Europe and Latin America to US-based telecom infrastructure firm American Towers for 7.7 billion euros.