T-Mobile Netherlands sells to Apax, Warburg Pincus for $6 billion

Deutsche Telekom and Tele2 have agreed to sell T-Mobile Netherlands for an enterprise value of $6 billion to the private equity funds Apax and Warburg Pincus.

T-Mobile said it plans to continue its strategy as a challenger on the Dutch market under the new owners.

T-Mobile, which operates four brands: T-Mobile, Tele2, Ben, and Simpel, is a leading European telecommunications operator. Under the current management team, the Company has become the leading mobile network operator in the Netherlands and the first to offer unlimited and nationwide 5G, as well as becoming the fastest growing operator in fixed broadband market serving around 700,000 broadband customers at the end of Q2 2021, according to a statement by Apax.

The funds will purchase T-Mobile Netherlands from Deutsche Telekom and venture partner Tele2, which owns a 25 percent stake, the companies said.

Bloomberg said that the German company could announce a sale of the unit soon, whilst the value of Tele2’s stake is about 860 million euros.

Søren Abildgaard, CEO T-Mobile Netherlands, said: “Today is a big day for us. We are excited about the path ahead and to work together with Apax and Warburg Pincus over the coming years. We are looking forward to continuing our strategy in the Dutch market, offering superior value to our customers.”

As such, he added, we remain steadfast in our promise to deliver the best possible customer experience, powered by the best mobile network in the world.

“We have come a long way and re-positioned T-Mobile as a winning player by driving innovation and change within the market, being the first mobile operator to offer unlimited and nationwide 5G. I am proud of what we as a team have achieved in the past and believe we are today better positioned than ever for the next chapter,” he noted.

Both Apax and Warburg Pincus have long-standing experience and strong track-records in the Communications Services and broader Telecommunication, Media, and Technology (“TMT”) sector, having invested in companies globally, including in Salt (Apax), Wind Telecom (Apax), TDC (Apax), Ziggo (Warburg Pincus), Inexio (Warburg Pincus) and Community Fibre (Warburg Pincus).

The two firms have also worked closely together since 2019 when their respective funds jointly invested in Inmarsat, a mobility-focused satellite operator focused on maritime, aviation and government end-markets.

Under the new ownership, T-Mobile will become an independent Dutch Company while Apax and Warburg Pincus will look to partner with the management team to support the Company as it continues to focus on innovation and growing its already impressive customer base.