Brookfield Asset Management and Digital Bridge won the race to acquire a majority stake in the business housing Deutsche Telekom’s tower assets in Germany and Austria, striking a deal expected to complete by the end of the year.

Following the sale, which values the business at €17.5 billion, the two investors will own a combined 51 per cent of GD Towers with Deutsche Telekom retaining the remainder. The operator group will also sign a lease agreement for favourable use of the associated assets.

Deutsche Telekom is set to use the proceeds to cut debt, which it believes will aid attempts to build a majority stake in T-Mobile US.

The announcement comes a day after tower company Cellnex revealed it was dropping out of contention to buy the stake. Initial reports suggested its bid was as part of a consortium with Brookfield Asset Management, though the latter ended up moving forward with a new partner.

Deutsche Telekom kicked-off the process of trying to find an investor for its tower assets earlier this year, with a number of players said to be in the frame. When Cellnex dropped out yesterday (13 July) reports suggested it left a KKR-led consortium as the sole bidder.

GD Towers operates more than 40,000 sites in Germany and Austria, with plans to add 5,400 new locations by end-2026. The tower businesses’ current CEO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn and CFO Thomas Ried are set to continue in their respective roles after the completion of the deal.

With the transaction Deutsche Telekom becomes the latest operator to cash in on its passive infrastructure assets.

Fellow European heavyweights Orange and Vodafone Group have also each raised the possibility of future M&A activity for their respective tower units.