Frankfurt, Germany -- Deutsche Bank A.G. isn't giving
up on its plan to take over the vast cable-systems business of Deutsche Telekom A.G.
Coming off its acquisition of Bankers Trust Co. of the
United States, which made it the world's largest bank, Deutsche Bank confirmed
reports last week that it has offered Deutsche Telekom a compromise.
Deutsche Telekom ended the bid-submission process last
Friday for its cable systems, which have access to some 18 million German households.
Deutsche Bank confirmed that if it's able to acquire
any of the cable systems, it will give Deutsche Telekom some say in how they are spun off
in the future. The bank -- which is bidding for the systems through its DB Investor unit
-- has said that it wants to upgrade them and sell them off at a profit, possibly through
an initial public stock offering.
Deutsche Telekom is vying with several other companies for
the systems. Last week, Dresdner Bank A.G. confirmed that it is trying to form a group of
investors to bid for them. Other reported contenders include Microsoft Corp., German media
powerhouse Bertelsmann A.G., MSO United Pan-Europe Communications N.V. (UPC) and even
German TV mogul Leo Kirch.
Deutsche Telekom has divided the cable holdings into nine
regional companies, and it is offering them for sale individually.
Deutsche Bank is making its separate bids for the systems
with regional partners.
Government-controlled Norddeutsche Landesbank is Deutsche
Bank's partner for the northern German systems. Deutsche Bank is teaming up with
Westdeutsche Landesbank and regional telecommunications company NetCologne in its bid for
the Northrhine-Westfalia systems, including those in the Cologne area. And a similar group
was formed for Bavaria.
In addition to the regional partners, Deutsche Bank is also
teaming up with the GE Capital unit of General Electric Co.
An agreement for the systems in northern Germany could
emerge shortly, according to sources. "Telekom needs to close at least one of the
deals if they don't want to lose face," one source said. Last month, Telekom
officials said they hoped to announce the first winners by the end of the year.
Deutsche Bank has estimated that upgrading the cable
systems would entail an investment of 10 billion deutsche marks ($5.4 billion).