Private equity heavyweights Apax and CVC are finalising rival bids for Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile Netherlands unit, according to Reuters.
Bidders have until next Monday (16 November) to submit indicative offers, with the turnout thought likely to include other private equity firms, including Providence and Bain Capital.
Liberty Global, which runs a cable television business in the Netherlands, has been suggested as another potential bidder. French entrepreneur Xavier Niel has also been mooted as a suitor.
The value of T-Mobile Netherlands is unclear, with reports varying from €3 billion up to €5 billion.
T-Mobile Netherlands is one of Deutsche Telekom’s few remaining mobile-only businesses, and a sale is seen as fitting the company’s strategy of focusing on markets where it can offer bundled propositions combining mobile with internet and television services.
The Dutch unit reported EBITDA down 22 per cent to €125 million in the third quarter. Revenue fell 8 per cent as the unit shed contract as well as prepaid customers.
And the competitive situation is unlikely to get any better with the commercial launch this week of Tele2’s LTE-A network. The company, which is aiming for revenue market share of 20 per cent, will offer bundles of between 1GB and 24GB, with the latter costing €35 a month, promising Dutch consumers the opportunity to “drown themselves in data”.