Rumor: Deutsche Telekom to sell T-Mobile USA

Jul 03 2005 - 12:05 PM ET | Rumor, T-Mobile
t-mobile tThe Wall Street Journal Online has a piece [paid sub required] today about Deutsche Telekom possibly looking to sell T-Mobile USA. bq. As the German telecommunications giant faces a huge bill to upgrade the U.S. unit to keep pace with rivals, Deutsche Telekom's management board has been debating T-Mobile USA's fate, according to people close to the matter. The company has told investors recently it expects to make a decision by December. T-Mobile USA will become the smallest player by a long shot once Sprint completes its merger with Nextel. It's also the only US carrier without 3G plans in progress. Vodafone is targeted as a likely buyer since T-Mobile USA uses the same network technology. Vodafone currently has a minority stake in Verizon Wireless, which some analysts believe won't last--they say Vodafone wants to control 100% of a US carrer. A sale would bring $25-30 billion, much lower than the $47 billion that Deutsche Telekom paid in 2001. T-Mobile USA is Deutsche Telekom's fastest growing business. An IPO is also on the table, but that option doesn't appear as likely. bq. Deutsche Telekom just went through a messy delisting of its T-online subsidiary in Germany, an experience that could turn it off another subsidiary IPO.