April 30, 2018 / 9:53 AM / 21 days ago

D.Telekom sees T-Mobile-Sprint deal clearing anti-trust scrutiny

FRANKFURT, April 30 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges expressed confidence on Monday that the $26 billion takeover of Sprint Corp by its U.S. unit T-Mobile US would clear anti-trust hurdles.

Hoettges, speaking after the all-stock deal was announced on Sunday, also touted that the deal would enable Telekom to vote the stake of Sprint’s main owner, Japan’s Softbank, thus securing overall control of the No.3 U.S. wireless player.

“I have been working on this deal for 7 years,” Hoettges told analysts on a call. “We have never been so optimistic as we have been today.”

Rather than looking at the proposed combination of T-Mobile and Sprint as deal between wireless operators, regulators should also include fixed line operators in their assessment, and consider the fact that these two markets are converging.

“The market definition has changed,” Hoettges said.

Deutsche Telekom’s shares opened 2.9 percent higher at 14.80 euros, as analysts baked synergies estimated by the parties to the deal at $43 billion into their valuations.

Jefferies estimated the deal upside at 2.40 euros per share for Deutsche Telekom, assuming flawless execution. Based on its weighted analysis of the deal’s chances of happening, it put the upside at 60 euro cents, or 4 percent. (Reporting by Edward Taylor and Douglas Busvine)

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