The German government could sell all or some of its 74 per cent stake in Deutsche Telekom to a strategic investor in a bid to raise funds for the debt-laden national telco.
Last December, Deutsche Telekom made public one billion of its shares worth a total of DM20 billion. Around 713 million have been sold.
However the government is constrained from selling its stake, worth DM79 billion until 2000. The telco?s chairman, Ron Sommer, told journalists at a meeting in London last week, that the government could sell its shares to a strategic investor and by-passing the need to deal within the financial market.
Possible buyers could be Sprint and France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom?s partners in its international joint venture, Global One.
However, the Socialist party victory on Sunday?s French parliamentary elections throws doubt on France Telecom?s ability to swap shares. Sprint said it has not considered buying a stake in Deutsche Telekom.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom is to form a joint venture with Enel, Italy?s electricity utility. The new company will be 51 per cent controlled by Enel, with the balance owned by Deutsche Telekom. It expects to bid for the licence to operate Italy?s third mobile telephone network.
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