Deutsche Bank exits bid battle for cablers

U.S. companies eye DT properties, bank may opt out

BERLIN — Several weeks after German cable gatekeeper Deutsche Telekom announced a short list of U.S. players vying for four of its nine regional cable systems, Deutsche Bank is said to be considering withdrawing from the bidding war.

According to a report in Monday’s issue of weekly magazine Focus, the bank is rethinking its position following DT’s decision to offer several of the networks to competitors. The bank is reviewing its ownership of Germany’s second-largest cable system, TeleColumbus, and pulling out of the cable biz altogether.

Not banking on cable

A Deutsche Bank spokesman told Reuters Sunday that the bank was examining its commitment to cable.

In December, DT confirmed that it had short-listed the Dutch-based, U.S.-backed cabler UPC, U.S. communications group Callahan and U.S. investment group Kletsch for the states of Saarland, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, respectively.

Since DT put the networks on the block, the conditions have changed, with investors now being offered a reduced 35% stake in each region, with 40% set to float and 25% remaining with DT.

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