DT resists pressure to sell T-Mobile UK

Deutsche Telekom said yesterday would revamp its mobile subsidiary in the UK and take a “long-term” view despite coming under pressure to sell the flagging unit.

René Obermann, DT’s CEO, said he believed in T-Mobile UK’s “chances in the medium to long term”, as an existing network-sharing deal with rival 3 UK allowed it to market T-Mobile “more aggressively,” the Financial Times reports.

Clearly DT wants to stay in the UK market despite a profit warning in late April due to problems there, the US and Poland. It said at the time operating profit could slip 2 to 4% from €19.5 billion in 2009.

DT reported a Q1 net loss of €1.1 billion – compared with a profit of €924 million in the same quarter 2008 – caused by an impairment of €1.8bn for its UK arm.

The Financial Times has reported that the German government and Blackstone Group, which own 32% and 5% stock, had considered selling the UK unit but that low asset prices had also spurred talk of an acquisition.

Richard Moat, the former boss of France Telecom’s Orange Romania unit, is to become the new MD of T-Mobile UK. His primary task is to drive to the growth of traffic, the report says.