Deutsche Telekom wants to swap T Mobile UK unit

July 3, 2009

, FRANKFURT, Jul 3 – The biggest German telecommunications operator, Deutsche Telekom, is looking to swap its loss-making T-Mobile unit in Britain for an asset in another country, a press report said on Friday.

The Financial Times quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying a swap was considered a "preferred option" to selling the unit outright or merging it with a British rival.

But although trading T-Mobile UK for a unit such as Vodafone Turkey, that country\’s second biggest mobile operator, would be an ideal solution for Deutsche Telekom, it was not certain that Britain\’s Vodafone was interested.

"There are also other assets in central and eastern European countries that would help (Deutsche Telekom) shore up its position in markets in which it is already active," one of the newspaper\’s sources was quoted as saying.

Deutsche Telekom is active in 15 countries in the region, including Austria and Greece, the report said.

Meanwhile, Vodafone and Telefonica are mulling bids for T-Mobile UK, which could be worth at least 3.0 billion euros (4.2 billion dollars), a source cited by the newspaper said.

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