Deutsche Tel: No EE float just yet

DEUTSCHE Telekom said yesterday that a flotation of the UK’s biggest mobile phone company, EE, will not happen until the end of this year at the earliest.

The German giant, which owns half of EE along with France Telecom, is looking to float a minority stake in the owner of the Orange and T-Mobile networks.

“If we are to have an orderly, solid preparation, then the fourth quarter is the first in which we can think about it,” Deutsche Telekom’s chief financial officer Timotheus Hoettges said yesterday, adding that a float is not a certainty and relies on market conditions.

Deutsche Telekom, which posted a 13 per cent fall in operating profits during the final quarter of last year, is looking to raise cash as it invests in networks in Germany and the US.

The company saw an accounting loss of €5.3bn (£4.6bn) owing to a €7.4bn writedown over the merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, which will create a fourth-placed player in US telecoms able to compete with its bigger rivals.

EE, formed by the merger of the Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and France Telecom’s Orange in 2010, is the UK’s biggest mobile phone company with almost 27m customers.

A float would value EE at £10bn, according to estimates.