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Five firms steer Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile stake increase, unit sale

3 minute read

A man walks past the logo of Deutsche Telekom AG at the headquarters of German telecommunications giant in Bonn, Germany, February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

  • De Brauw reps Deutsche Telekom in sale of Dutch unit
  • Freshfields, Simpson Thacher advise private equity buyers
  • Cravath, Freshfields guide De Brauw on share increase
  • Sullivan & Cromwell works with Softbank

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Sept 7 (Reuters) - Five law firms are supporting two Deutsche Telekom AG deals worth a combined roughly $13 billion in which the German telecommunications company will increase its stake in T-Mobile U.S. Inc and sell a Dutch unit.

Deutsche Telekom said on Tuesday it would sell its T-Mobile Netherlands Holding B.V. unit to private equity investors Apax Partners LLC and Warburg Pincus LLC for 5.1 billion euros ($6.05 billion). It said it would use the proceeds from the sale to increase its stake in T-Mobile U.S. through a $7 billion share-swap deal with SoftBank Group.

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is guiding Deutsche Telekom on the sale of its Dutch unit, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are counseling Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus.

The De Brauw team is led by corporate and mergers & acquisition partner Lennard Keijzer.

Keijzer previously counseled T-Mobile Netherlands on its 2020 acquisition of mobile virtual network operator Simpel.nl, according to his firm profile. He also advised the Deutsche Telekom unit on its 2018 merger with telecommunications company Tele2 Netherlands.

The Freshfields team working with T-Mobile Netherlands’ private equity buyers is led by corporate and M&A partners Markus Paul and Shawn der Kinderen.

Warburg Pincus has tapped Freshfields for several transactions this year, including its investment in analytics software company Quantexa and its sale of a 25% stake in luxury clothing brand Reiss, according to firm press releases.

Paul is also co-leading the team that’s guiding Warburg Pincus and its portfolio company Infoniqa on the purchase of software vendor Sage Schweiz AG, a firm press release says.

Apax Partners has teamed up with Simpson Thacher attorneys including corporate and M&A partner James Howe and acquisition finance partner Ian Barratt for guidance on the transaction.

The private equity firm is among Simpson Thacher’s longtime clients, firm announcements show. Barratt previously helped Apax Partners on arranging financing for a handful of deals, including for the acquisitions of real estate company ADCO Group and Baltic Classifieds Group.

Deutsche Telekom’s financial adviser on the unit sale is Morgan Stanley, while the financial advisers for the private equity firms are Credit Suisse and LionTree.

Freshfields and Cravath, Swaine & Moore are also supporting Deutsche Telekom on its deal to acquire T-Mobile U.S. shares from Softbank in exchange for issuing Softbank additional Deutsche Telekom shares.

Softbank has paired with a Sullivan & Cromwell team including corporate partners Sarah Payne, Robert DeLaMater, Carsten Berrar and Max Birke; financing partner John Estes; and tax partner Jeffrey Hochberg.

As a result of the deal, the Deutsche Telekom stake in T-Mobile U.S. will increase to 48.4%, while Softbank becomes the German company’s second-largest private shareholder, according to a press release.

Deutsche Telekom’s financial advisers on the share swap are Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Read more:

Deutsche Telekom sells Dutch unit to private equity for 5.1 bln euros

Deutsche Telekom lifts T-Mobile US stake in SoftBank swap deal

Sierra Jackson reports on legal matters in major mergers and acquisitions, including deal work, litigation and regulatory changes. Reach her at sierra.jackson@thomsonreuters.com

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