T-Mobile NL is a Dutch mobile phone and broadband company that operates the T-Mobile, Tele2, Ben and Simpel brands


T-Mobile NL to be acquired by Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus. (Credit: T-Mobile / Bart van der Putten)

Deutsche Telekom and Tele2 have agreed to divest T-Mobile Netherlands (T-Mobile NL) to funds advised by Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus for €5.1bn.

T-Mobile NL is a European telecommunications operator that operates the T-Mobile, Tele2, Ben and Simpel brands. It is said to be the first to offer unlimited 5G throughout the Netherlands.

The company had been catering to nearly 700,000 broadband customers at the end of the second quarter of this year.

Deutsche Telekom is selling the business following a strategic review announced in May 2021. The transaction also follows the German telecommunications company’s €700m sale of its Dutch mobile tower business earlier this year.

The German firm said that T-Mobile NL had grown its mobile market share from 25% in 2017 in the Netherlands to 42% in 2020. The company forayed into the fixed market by acquiring Thuis in 2016 and further consolidated its market position by partnering with Open Dutch Fiber this year.

T-Mobile NL CEO Søren Abildgaard said: “We have come a long way to reposition T-Mobile NL as a winning player by driving innovation and change within the market, being the first mobile operator to offer Unlimited and nationwide 5G in the Netherlands.

“We believe that T-Mobile NL today is better positioned than ever and as a management team we are excited to partner with Apax and Warburg Pincus to execute the next phase of our growth story.”

Post-acquisition, T-Mobile NL will become a standalone Dutch company.

Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus, with their experience in the telecommunications sector, are expected to guide the company and its management team in the next phase of their growth strategy.

Apax partner Gabriele Cipparrone said: “Thanks to the excellent work of its talented management team and employees, T-Mobile enjoys strong brand recognition and has become the leading mobile operator in the Netherlands, with a growing presence in fixed broadband, leveraging future-proof fibre to the home technology.

“We look forward to supporting the Company to further accelerate growth and become a leading convergent player, by enhancing its network leadership, growing its fibre to the home customer base and delivering a best-in-class customer service.”

The deal is subject to consultation with employee representatives, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.