Ambani’s Reliance eyes T-Mobile Netherlands

Ambani’s Reliance eyes T-Mobile Netherlands

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Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is said to be weighing up making a bid for T-Mobile Netherlands, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG’s Netherlands.

According to sources close to the matter, Reliance is working with an adviser to put together an offer for T-Mobile Netherlands BV, with Deutsche Telekom said to asking €5 billion ($5.9 billion) for the business.

The same people say that negotiations are ongoing, with no final decision made or if Reliance will proceed with its bid. Neither Deutsche Telekom nor Reliance have confirmed these reports.

Should the deal go ahead Reliance would acquire a rare European foothold and align with Ambani's goal to transform Reliance from a legacy business into a technology and e-commerce company.

Deutsche Telekom first entered the Dutch market in 2000, after acquiring a stake in a business with Belgacom SA and Tele Danmark. In 2003 the business was later renamed T-Mobile Netherlands after Deutsche Telekom bought the remaining shares.

As reported by Capacity in July of this year, there are five private equity companies are interested in buying T-Mobile Netherlands from Deutsche Telekom. The business has attracted interest from Apax Partners, Apollo Global Management, BC Partners, Providence Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus and is said to be working Morgan Stanley on the sale.

This followed reports in January of this year that deutsche Telekom was planning on selling the mobile unit to unnamed private equity investors that could be worth between €4 billion to €5 billion.

Any potential sale to KPN or Vodafone-Liberty Global joint venture VodafoneZiggo, the two other major telecoms operators in the Netherlands, has been ruled out on the grounds of fair market competition.

A similar story surfaced six years ago with the proceeds of the sale were to be used to reducing debt and acquiring spectrum.

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