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Deutsche Telekom rumored to be eyeing T-Mobile USA spinoff

Chris Ziegler
February 4, 2010
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Not a week goes by that we don't hear of investor pressure on Deutsche Telekom to strengthen its financials and offload underperforming units -- T-Mobile USA included -- and the American outpost is back in the spotlight this evening coming off a report out of The Wall Street Journal that a spinoff might indeed be in the works. According to our favorite "people familiar with the matter," DT has reached out to a few banks with the goal of raising enough capital for T-Mobile through an IPO that it'd be able to continue to fund its network build-out, something that's going to become increasingly critical as it fends off 7.2Mbps HSPA and 4G competition from all of its national competitors. There are a few scenarios allegedly being discussed, ranging from a full-on excision of T-Mobile from its corporate parent to a merger with another US wireless firm -- but the plan gaining most traction internally is said to involve selling around 20 percent of the carrier to investors while hanging onto the rest, a situation that would get the underperforming unit's financials off DT's books. Ultimately, whatever comes of this probably won't happen for a few months while the options get mulled, but considering what went down in the UK, this certainly seems plausible.

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