German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom has sold 100 million shares in its Internet subsidiary T-Online in an effort to ease its huge debt. The shares went for €610 million ($604 million), with Telekom announcing the sale of a further 20 million shares due to heavy over-subscription.
The additional sale will generate a further €122 million while the sale of all 120 million shares is expected to reduce Deutsche Telekom's stake in T-Online to around 71 percent from 81.7 percent at present. In a statement, the company said that "by selling the shares, T-Online's shareholder base will be enlarged and the liquidity of its shares increased. At the same time it's a further step in the reduction of Deutsche Telekom's debt."
The former state-owned monopoly wants to reduce its total net debt to €50 billion by the end of next year from a current level of €64 billion. T-Online and Deutsche Telekom shares reacted positively with both making considerable gains in trading.