Just a few days ago, it was revealed that Deutsche Telekom had decided not to sell its controlling stake in our favorite carrier. At least, not in the short term. With that being the case, it seems that instead, it’s planning on leaving the UK market. Over on my side of the pond, Deutsche Telekom owns half of the EE joint venture. The other half is owned by Orange SA, a French telecoms company. And both companies seem intent on selling shares in their British company.
Deutsche Telekom and Orange, the biggest phone companies in Germany and France, respectively, pooled their U.K. assets together to help generate savings in network and purchasing. Now they’re looking to at least partially cash in on that strategy. The owners called off an IPO plan for EE earlier this year following a strategic review.
Sources told Bloomberg that an initial public offering (IPO) is the most likely route, but other options also include selling the company to a financial investor or another carrier. That said, it seems unlikely that the UK regulators would ever agree to one of the other major UK carriers buying EE from Orange and DT. There’s no deadline set for when a move will be made, and neither of the two current owners is interested in buying out the other half. It’s predicted that EE will be valued at around €15 billion EU ($19 billion USD) if it comes to being sold.
Regardless of what happens, Deutsche Telekom needs to raise funds to invest in to its other Central European properties, to remain competitive on the continent. And if an exit from the U.S. isn’t going to happen, stepping away from the UK market might be the next best thing.