November 20, 2013 / 2:05 AM / 5 years ago

Deutsche Telekom nears sale of Scout24: sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) is close to selling a 70 percent stake in its classified advertising business, Scout24, to private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for 1.4 billion euros ($1.89 billion), two people familiar with the talks said on Wednesday.

The transaction values Scout24 at about 2 billion euros ($2.71 billion), including debt.

“The deal could be announced in the coming days, but it has not been signed yet,” said one person.

Hellman & Friedman would pay 1.4 billion euros for a 70 percent stake, the person added.

Another person said Deutsche Telekom’s supervisory board would meet on Wednesday to decide on the sale.

The sale comes almost a year after Deutsche Telekom said it would look at options for the cluster of internet portals including European car trading site AutoScout24.

Deutsche Telekom and Hellman & Friedman declined to comment.

Deutsche Telekom is looking for cash to fund the roll-out of a next generation mobile network, which can transport huge amounts of data, to cater for a growing number of customers who use smartphones and tablets.

At the same time it is rolling out a glass fiber fixed network to offer superfast internet to compete against its cable rivals.

It said in December last year it expected to invest almost 30 billion euros between 2013-2015.

Deutsche Telekom is also evaluating its stake in British mobile operator EE, a joint venture with France Telecom FTE.PA. ($1 = 0.7394 euros)

Reporting by Alexander Huebner, Arno Schuetze, Claire Ruckin and Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Victoria Bryan and Louise Heavens

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