Rumour Mill: Deutsche Telekom pushes for Belgacom stake

Deutsche Telekom (DT) is looking to convince the Belgium government to sell part of its majority holding in Belgacom to the German telco, according to the Belgian French-language newspaper Le Soir. Belgacom's mobile phone division, Proximus, is the country's leading operator with around 50 per cent of the market.

DT first approached the Belgian government earlier this year to understand if it might be interested in selling any of its 53.5 per cent holding, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed source. However, the politicians were said to have asked DT to re-establish contact once the country's political situation stabilised.

The politicians, who are attempting to agree the terms of a coalition government for Belgium, are thought to be keen to dispose of state-owned assets in an effort to reduce Belgium's national debt.

For its part, DT has refused to comment on any plans for acquiring a shareholding in Belgacom, according to Reuters, but has previously ruled out takeovers that would cost billions of euros.

The Belgian mobile market is now considered saturated, with Proximus competing with France Telecom-owned Mobistar and Base, a subsidiary of Dutch KPN. Numerous MVNOs are also offering cut-price and bundled tariffs.

For more:
- see this Le Soir article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Reuters article

Related Articles:
Belgacom preps LTE launch, partners with Fon for Wi-Fi access
Belgium cable operator tests LTE
Belgium looks to raise 40m euros from fourth mobile licence
KPN CEO predicts return of acquisition opportunities
Rumour Mill: Private equity firms eye Belgium's Mobistar