Deutsche Telekom Hands 80% of Germany’s Cable Capacity to US

10 September 2001

Hot on the heels of its agreement to sell six regional cable systems to Liberty Media [WAMN: 05-Sep-01], Deutsche Telekom has announced it will sell majority stakes in two more systems to another US group led by Richard Callahan.

The German media giant is selling a 60% stake in one system and a 55% holding in the other for $2.7 billion, with an option – initially opposed by Telekom – for Callahan to buy the remaining DT shares.

Callahan, head of Callahan Associates International, is an experienced investor in the European cable market, with networks in Belgium and Spain as well as a further business in Germany.

In the wake of tumbling stock prices, DT has been forced to cede far more control in the systems than it originally intended. The two deals leave 14 million of the nation’s 17m cable customers in the hands of Liberty and Callahan.

However, both companies need to spend over $1bn each to modernise their acquisitions. Like Liberty, Callahan intends to offer more channels, telephone services and high-speed web access over the systems: “Germany is getting pretty close to hypergrowth in the internet,” he commented.

News source: New York Times