Deutsche Telekom appears to be pursuing a policy of re-alignment in Central and Eastern Europe.
Unlike Modern Times Group (MTG), which completed its exit from the region earlier this year, and CME, likely to sell its operations in the near future, the German company has decided to retain a strong presence but at the same time dispose of its assets in specific markets.
Take Romania, where through its Greek subsidiary OTE it owns a majority (70%) stake in the incumbent. It has just been reported that OTE is preparing to increase the capital of Telekom Romania’s mobile arm TMRC by €800 million through a new share issue. This, in turn, will pave the way for the sale of OTE’s assets in Romania.
Elsewhere, earlier this year OTE agreed to sell its entire stake in Telekom Albania to the Bulgarian company Albania Telecom for €50 million.
At the same time, rumours that Deutsche Telekom plans to exit the Hungarian market continue to be denied. Indeed, two months ago its CEO Timotheus Höttges met with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and reaffirmed its commitment to subsidiary Magyar Telekom.
Deutsche Telekom also appears to be committed to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where it restructured its T-Mobile operations earlier this year and could well be looking to expand with new acquisitions.
Poland, too, remains a key market for Deutsche Telekom. Present through T-Mobile Polska and a national company of its ICT arm T-Systems, it is investing around PLN1 billion (€235 million) each year in its infrastructure and is set to play a key role in the rollout of 5G services in the country.
As in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the company may also be on the lookout for acquisitions in Poland.