Deutsche Telekom aims to complete the merger of its T-Mobile U.S. unit with MetroPCS between April and June 2013, Chief Financial Officer Timotheus Hoettges told a German newspaper.
"The transaction is not likely be carried out until the second quarter of 2013", Hoettges told daily Boersenzeitung.
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Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS on October 3 said they planned to combine their American wireless services units in an effective reverse merger, in which U.S.-listed MetroPCS will buy T-Mobile U.S.[ID:nL6E8L3B1O]
The merger marks a long-awaited consolidation in the U.S. mobile market, in which the fourth-largest mobile carrier Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile aims to get the scale it needs to compete with AT&T and Verizon .
It will also help Deutsche Telekom lessen the burden of investing in the U.S. by making the local unit more independent, and give the former German monopoly a liquid asset it can sell down if it wants to exit the U.S. eventually.
Hoettges reiterated that Deutsche Telekom's shareholder remuneration policy for 2012 will not be affected by the merger plans and that shareholders are set to receive a dividend of at least 0.70 euros ($0.91) per share for 2012.
"Given profits brought forward of 1.6 billion euros and retained earnings of 15.5 billion euros there can be no doubt in our ability to pay a dividend," Hoettges told the newspaper.
($1 = 0.7712 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by Keiron Henderson)