Report: DT might sell T-Mobile Netherlands to fund T-Mobile US' 600 MHz purchases

Deutsche Telekom is considering selling its Dutch mobile subsidiary in a deal that could be worth as much as $5.7 billion (€5 billion), according to multiple reports. The transaction could help DT reduce debt and also finance T-Mobile US' (NYSE:TMUS) purchases of spectrum in next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum, according to Bloomberg.

The reports, from Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, all cited unnamed sources and said the talks are preliminary. The Journal said the deal would be worth less, around $4.53 billion.

Deutsche Telekom declined to comment, according to the reports.

T-Mobile US CFO Braxton Carter said at an investor conference last month the carrier might have as much as $10 billion it could spend on spectrum during the incentive auction. However, he said that he doesn't think T-Mobile will need to spend that much to obtain the spectrum it wants.

Carter said T-Mobile is well positioned to participate in the auction, and that he expects "robust" action from a variety of bidders, including potentially bidders from outside the wireless industry.

DT still controls around 67 percent of the shares of T-Mobile US. There were reports this past summer that T-Mobile and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) were engaged in merger talks, but they apparently petered out over differences over valuations and other issues.

T-Mobile has been the fastest-growing U.S. carrier in the past few years and will likely report around 61 million total customers when it discloses its third-quarter results. T-Mobile has been using its 700 MHz A Block spectrum to expand its LTE footprint but has also said it needs 600 MHz airwaves to boost its coverage.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article 
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article
- see this TMoNews article 

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