With earnings last year hit by restructuring charges and ferocious competition in the home German market, Telekom CEO Rene Obermann, who only took over as head of the company a few months ago, is under heavy pressure to show that he is taking rapid action to boost profitability. On Thursday, he told the group’s annual earnings news conference that overseas acquisitions in the mobile sector — financed via the sale of non-core activities — would be a way forward. “Contrary to what was the case in the past, we’re no longer excluding expanding abroad via acquisitions, particularly in mobile telephony,” Obermann said. The chief executive refused to rule out large-scale acquisitions, as long as they made sense and fulfilled “strict financial criteria,” he said. Targeting fast-growth markets Quizzed about the possible takeover targets, Obermann replied: “We’re very dependent on the German, European and US markets. But we don’t have any substantial presence in fast-growing markets.” Could Telekom be looking for Indian customers? Deutsche Telekom would therefore look in that direction, he said, while refusing to name any specific country. British mobile phone giant Vodafone recently moved into the Indian market by buying Hutchison Essar for more than $11 billion (8.3… Read full this story
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