Two largest shareholders exert influence, with sale or merger to 3 or Orange mooted; latter would create UK's largest operator

Deutsche Telekom under pressure to sell T-Mobile UK

T-Mobile UK maybe sold by its parent company, after it emerged that its two main shareholders – the German Government and private equity group Blackstone – began increasing pressure to offload the division.

According to the Financial Times, the two are concerned over the current state of the UK’s third largest network operator, which last month became the first to issue a profit warning.

Sources speaking to the paper said that the idea of selling the division had originally surfaced around six months ago, but were dismissed due to concerns over how much could be made after falling asset valuations.

Another option mooted was a merger or acquisition deal with another UK operator, with the Financial Times citing network-sharing partner 3 or fourth largest operator Orange as possible options.

The latter would create the largest operator in the UK, with over 30m customers. It is thought UK competition authorities would be unable to veto any deal between Deutsche Telekom and Orange’s owner France Telecom.

It is believed that any decision concerning the UK will be made sooner rather than later, with the source telling the FT that both shareholders "want a decision yesterday".

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