DDeutsche Telekom is selling the majority of its cell tower business to a North American investor duo. A share of 51 percent is to go to the Canadian financial investor Brookfield and the US infrastructure investor Digital Bridge, as the Dax-listed company announced on Thursday in Bonn.
The group intends to keep the remaining 49 percent. If the authorities give the green light, the transaction should be completed by the end of 2022. Deutsche Telekom put the enterprise value of GD Towers at EUR 17.5 billion excluding debt and cash. CEO Tim Höttges wants to use the estimated cash inflow of 10.7 billion euros to reduce the mountain of debt a bit and to secure a majority stake in the subsidiary T-Mobile US even faster.
With around 800 employees, the radio tower business GD Towers operates more than 40,000 locations in Germany and Austria. According to Telekom, the company generated sales of around 1.1 billion euros in 2021, and adjusted operating income was around 640 million euros.
Investors had previously speculated what a potential radio tower deal might look like and who it might go to. A whole range of companies are said to have expressed their interest: in addition to a merger between the financial investors KKR, GIP and Stonepeak, Cellnex also threw its hat into the ring. For a long time, the Spaniards were considered the favorites, partly because of their market leadership in Europe and the existing cooperation with Deutsche Telekom.
Vodafone’s Vantage Towers radio tower division, which was detached from the group, is said to have shown interest. Like Telefonica Germany, the British had parted with their radio towers much earlier.