Bloomberg today cites people familiar with the matter that say Deutsche Telekom is in talks to sell its T-Mobile USA unit to none other than Sprint Nextel. The deal, if it comes to fruition, would see Sprint merge with T-Mobile USA and Deutsche Telekom retain a majority stake in the resulting entity.
According to Bloomberg's sources, the talks are ongoing and progress is suffering because the two parties can't agree on a valuation for T-Mobile USA. However, a sale to Sprint is not the only option Deutsche Telekom is considering.
"In general, all options are open in the U.S. -- the sale of the whole business or of parts," Timotheus Hoettges, Deutsche Telekom’s Chief Financial Officer, told Bloomberg in an emailed statement. Hoettges also said the company could find a partner, sell shares in the market or form a network agreement.
Reuters reports that shares in both Sprint and Deutsche Telekom jumped after the news broke. Deutsche Telekom was up 3.95 percent at 10 euros, while Sprint rose 3.5 percent to $4.64.
Though the news comes as a surprise, this is not the first time we've seen Sprint and Deutsche Telekom together in the mergers and acquisitions headlines. Back in September of 2009, the London Telegraph cited anonymous sources that claimed Deutsche Telekom was measuring up the possibility of acquiring Sprint. The rumors came not too long after T-Mobile UK merged with France Telecom's Orange.
Read more about the possibility of a Deutsche Telekom selling T-Mobile USA to Sprint here.
Read more about the 2009 rumors that Deutsche Telekom was considering acquiring Sprint Nextel here.