US private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Apollo are in a two horse race to acquire Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile Netherlands unit, with final bids expected next week.
According to Reuters, the companies will hand in bids on Monday, which could value the unit at more than €3 billion.
Both companies reportedly submitted non-binding offers of €2.5 billion plus add-ons in November, shortly after Deutsche Telekom said it was weighing an exit from the country.
Liberty Global, long touted as a possible suitor for the company given its Dutch cable business, last week pulled out of the running, after it entered into merger talks with Vodafone in the country.
Deutsche Telekom is heading towards the exit because it considers the Dutch market very competitive, with operators moving to all-inclusive bundles of mobile and fixed services.
A source however suggests the German incumbent could also opt to keep hold of T-Mobile Netherlands if it does not get a high enough offer. It was rumoured to be ambitiously looking for up to €5 billion for the unit, when first revealing its plans.
T-Mobile Netherlands is the country’s third largest player with 3.7 million connections as of Q1 2016.