Deutsche Telekom has sold its t-online.de web portal and digital marketing subsidiary InteractiveMedia to digital advertising specialist Ströer SE for €300 million in an all shares deal.
Ströer will issue €300 million in new shares that will be issued to Deutsche Telekom, corresponding to an equity investment of between 11-13% by Telekom in the company. The shares are subject to a 12-month lock-in period.
Telekom said that the sale was in line with its strategy of disposing or forming partnerships to increase the value of business areas that can no longer be adequately developed within the group.
The deal is subject to approval by the Bundeskartellamt and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
The t-online.de portal is one of the most-visited websites in Germany and also serves as a platform for t-online.de e-mail accounts and the Deutsche Telekom customer centre. Telekom Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom’s domestic arm, will retain these services, which can continue to be used as usual without third-parties being able to access the content.
“Germany’s high-reach online platform t-online.de and InteractiveMedia are ideally complemented by Ströer’s activities in the marketing of online advertising space. We are delighted to have found a partner in Ströer which can further increase the potential of the portal and leverage substantial synergies on the market for both companies. We firmly believe that t-online.de and InteractiveMedia can sustainably support Ströer’s cross-media marketing position on the German online advertising market and thereby contribute to Ströer’s growth strategy. This is one of the reasons we have decided to receive the purchase price in shares,” said Niek Jan van Damme, Member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management and Managing Director of Telekom Deutschland GmbH.
“The transaction is a clear game changer for Ströer and the German online advertising market. The merger in marketing is also a very important step for being able to ensure the future competitiveness of a German online marketing company in competition with global players. T-Online is an iconic brand in German digital business. We believe that we have the resources to continue successfully developing Europe’s “most trusted online brand,” said Udo Müller, CEO of Ströer.