The Indian giant, led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is considering a bid for the telco, with parent company Deutsche Telekom reportedly seeking around €5 billion from any potential sale

Today, sources speaking to media are suggesting that India’s Reliance Industries could be considering a takeover bid for Deutsche Telekom’s Dutch unit, T-Mobile Netherlands. 

Discussions are reportedly ongoing, with no final decision yet made on the sale. Both parties have refused to comment on the reports.

Deutsche Telekom has been officially looking to sell its Dutch subsidiary for between €4 billion and €5 billion since January this year, but the rumours surrounding a potential sale have a much longer history. In fact, the earliest reports of a potential sale date back to 2015, with the business carrying a similar price tag to the current discussions. 

However, despite much speculation by the media, no terms were ever agreed, and no deal materialised.

Since then, in 2019, T-Mobile Netherlands merged with Tele2 Netherlands, strengthening its position in the market and expanding the scope of its operations. Deutsche Telekom owns 75% of the joint venture, while Tele2 own the remaining 25%. 

Now, in 2021, interest in purchasing the company is seemingly soaring, with reports last month suggesting that five private equity firms were interested parties: Apax Partners, Apollo Global Management, BC Partners, Providence Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus.

It seems that Tele2 also has little interest in holding on to their own stake in the business, announcing their intention to sell their entire portion of the business back in May, arguing that it will instead be focussing on its core markets in the Nordics and Baltics.

But with so many equity firms expressing interest in the purchase of T-Mobile Netherlands, Reliance’s interest comes as something of a surprise. 

Owned by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries is a conglomerate that was built primarily on petroleum, but has since been expanding in all directions, notably launching successful mobile operator, Reliance Jio, in 2016, and also expanding into e-commerce.

If the company were to buy T-Mobile Netherlands, it would represent Reliance’s first operator purchase in Europe and could represent a major shakeup for the saturated Dutch telecoms market. 


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