The German government is considering its first placement of shares in former monopoly Deutsche Telekom (DT) since 1996, Reuters cites two people familiar with the matter as saying. The Federal Republic of Germany owns a 14.5% stake in DT, as well as a further 17.4% via state-owned development bank KfW Bankengruppe. According to the sources, KfW has invited banks to make proposals for a share placement, although preparations are said to be at an early stage, and it is not yet clear whether or when a sale could take place. The report adds that in order to sell any shares in DT, a number of steps would still need to be taken at the finance ministry that oversees the holding, and ministerial as well as coalition approval would be needed.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December last year Germany’s Monopolies Commission published a report on competition in the telecoms market in which it recommended the government sell its direct and indirect stake in DT. The independent advisory group noted that the government’s shareholding in the operator presents ‘possible conflicts of interest arising from the simultaneous role of owner and regulator,’ adding that the proceeds from privatisation could be used to fund broadband expansion.