Legal structure of the Group
Deutsche Telekom AG, Bonn, is the parent of the Deutsche Telekom Group. Its shares are traded on the Frankfurt/Main Stock Exchange as well as on other stock exchanges.
For information on the composition of capital stock in accordance with § 289a (1) HGB and § 315a HGB of direct and indirect equity investments, please refer to Note 19 “Shareholders’ equity” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements and to the notes to the annual financial statements of Deutsche Telekom AG as of December 31, 2020.
Each share entitles the holder to one vote. These voting rights are restricted, however, in relation to treasury shares (at December 31, 2020: around 18 million in total).
Treasury shares. The amount of issued capital assigned to treasury shares was approximately EUR 46 million at December 31, 2020. This equates to 0.4 % of the capital stock. 18,002,303 treasury shares were held at December 31, 2020.
For information on the treasury shares in accordance with § 160 (1) No. 2 AktG, please refer to Note 8 in the annual financial statements of Deutsche Telekom AG as of December 31, 2020 and to Note 19 “Shareholders’ equity” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.
The shareholders’ meeting resolved on May 25, 2016 to authorize the Board of Management to purchase shares in the Company by May 24, 2021, with the amount of share capital accounted for by these shares totaling up to EUR 1,179,302,878.72, provided the shares to be purchased on the basis of this authorization in conjunction with the other shares of the Company that the Company has already purchased and still possesses or are to be assigned to it under § 71d and § 71e AktG do not at any time account for more than 10 % of the Company’s share capital. Moreover, the requirements under § 71 (2) sentences 2 and 3 AktG must be complied with. Shares shall not be purchased for the purpose of trading in treasury shares. This authorization may be exercised in full or in part. The purchase can be carried out in partial tranches spread over various purchase dates within the authorization period until the maximum purchase volume is reached. Dependent Group companies of Deutsche Telekom AG within the meaning of § 17 AktG or third parties acting for the account of Deutsche Telekom AG or for the account of dependent Group companies of Deutsche Telekom AG within the meaning of § 17 AktG are also entitled to purchase the shares. The shares are purchased through the stock exchange in adherence to the principle of equal treatment (§ 53a AktG). Shares can instead also be purchased by means of a public purchase or share exchange offer addressed to all shareholders, which, subject to a subsequently approved exclusion of the right to offer shares, must also comply with the principle of equal treatment.
The shares may be used for one or several of the purposes permitted by the authorization granted by the shareholders’ meeting on May 25, 2016 under item 6 on the agenda. The shares may also be used for purposes involving an exclusion of subscription rights. They may also be sold on the stock market or by way of an offer to all shareholders, or withdrawn. The shares may also be used to fulfill the rights of Board of Management members to receive shares in Deutsche Telekom AG, which the Supervisory Board has granted to these members as part of the arrangements governing the compensation of the Board of Management, on the basis of a decision by the Supervisory Board to this effect.
Under the resolution of the shareholders’ meeting on May 25, 2016, the Board of Management is also authorized to acquire the shares through the use of equity derivatives.
On the basis of the authorization by the shareholders’ meeting on May 25, 2016 described above and corresponding authorizations by the shareholders’ meeting on May 12, 2011 and May 24, 2012, 110 thousand shares were acquired in June 2011, 206 thousand shares in September 2011, and 268 thousand shares in January 2013. The total volumes amounted to EUR 2,762 thousand in the 2011 financial year, and EUR 2,394 thousand in the 2013 financial year (excluding transaction costs). This increased the number of treasury shares by 316 thousand and 268 thousand, respectively. Further, 90 thousand shares and 860 thousand shares were acquired in September and October 2015, respectively, for an aggregate amount of EUR 14,787 thousand (excluding transaction costs); these acquisitions increased the number of treasury shares by 950 thousand.
No treasury shares were acquired in the reporting period.
As part of the Share Matching Plan, 2 thousand treasury shares were transferred free of charge to the custody accounts of eligible participants in 2012 and a further 2 thousand in 2013. A further 90 thousand treasury shares were transferred free of charge in the 2014 financial year. An additional 140 thousand treasury shares were transferred in 2015. In the 2016 financial year, 232 thousand treasury shares were transferred, 300 thousand treasury shares were transferred in the 2017 financial year, and 312 thousand in the 2018 financial year. In the 2019 financial year, 448 thousand treasury shares were transferred to the custody accounts of eligible participants. Transfers of treasury shares to the custody accounts of employees of Deutsche Telekom AG are free of charge. In cases where treasury shares are transferred to the custody accounts of employees of other Group companies, the costs have been transferred at fair value to the respective Group company since the 2016 financial year.
In all months of the reporting year with the exception of March and August, treasury shares (523 thousand in total) were reallocated and transferred to the custody accounts of eligible participants of the Share Matching Plan. As of December 31, 2020, disposals of treasury shares resulting from the transfers in the reporting period accounted for 0.01 %, or EUR 1,338 thousand, of share capital. Gains on disposal arising from transfers of treasury shares amounted to EUR 7,426 thousand. Transfers of treasury shares increased retained earnings by EUR 36 thousand and capital reserves by EUR 6,052 thousand. In the reporting year, 266 thousand treasury shares with a fair value of EUR 3,885 thousand were billed to other Group companies.
As part of the acquisition of VoiceStream Wireless Corp., Bellevue, and Powertel, Inc., Bellevue, in 2001, Deutsche Telekom AG issued new shares from authorized capital to a trustee, for the benefit of holders of warrants, options, and conversion rights, among others. These options or conversion rights expired in full in the 2013 financial year. As a result, the trustee no longer had any obligation to fulfill any claims in accordance with the purpose of the deposit. The trust relationship was terminated at the start of 2016 and the deposited shares were transferred free of charge to a custody account of Deutsche Telekom AG. The previously deposited shares are accounted for in the same way as treasury shares in accordance with § 272 (1a) HGB. On the basis of authorization by the shareholders’ meeting on May 25, 2016, the treasury shares acquired free of charge may be used for the same purposes as the treasury shares acquired for a consideration. In the reporting year, 558 thousand previously deposited shares were reallocated for issue to eligible participants of the Share Matching Plan (prior year: 61 thousand shares).
Authorized capital and contingent capital. The shareholders’ meeting on May 31, 2017 authorized the Board of Management to increase the share capital with the approval of the Supervisory Board by up to EUR 3,600,000,000 by issuing up to 1,406,250,000 no par value registered shares against cash and/or non-cash contributions in the period ending May 30, 2022. This authorization may be exercised in full or on one or more occasions in partial amounts. The Board of Management is authorized, subject to the approval of the Supervisory Board, to exclude residual amounts from shareholders’ subscription rights. Furthermore, the Board of Management is authorized, subject to the approval of the Supervisory Board, to disapply shareholders’ subscription rights in the event of capital increases against non-cash contributions when issuing new shares for business combinations or acquisitions of companies, parts thereof, or interests in companies, including increasing existing investment holdings, or other assets eligible for contribution for such acquisitions, including receivables from the Company. However, the value of the new shares for which shareholders’ subscription rights have been disapplied on the basis of this authorization – together with the value of the shares or conversion and/or option rights or obligations under bonds issued or sold since May 31, 2017 subject to the disapplication of subscription rights – must not exceed 20 % of the total share capital; the latter is defined as the amount existing as of May 31, 2017, upon entry of the authorization, or upon the issue of the new shares, whichever amount is lowest. If the issue or sale is carried out in analogous or mutatis mutandis application of § 186 (3) sentence 4 AktG, this shall also constitute the disapplication of subscription rights. Further, the Board of Management is authorized, subject to the approval of the Supervisory Board, to determine the further content of share rights and the conditions under which shares are issued (2017 authorized capital). The 2017 authorized capital was entered into the commercial register on July 11, 2017.
As of December 31, 2020, the share capital was contingently increased by up to EUR 1,200,000,000, comprising up to 468,750,000 no par value shares (2018 contingent capital). The contingent capital increase will be implemented only to the extent that
- the holders or creditors of bonds with warrants, convertible bonds, profit participation rights, and/or participating bonds (or combinations of these instruments) with options or conversion rights, which are issued or guaranteed by Deutsche Telekom AG or its direct or indirect majority holdings by May 16, 2023, on the basis of the authorization resolution granted by the shareholders’ meeting on May 17, 2018, make use of their option and/or conversion rights or
- those obligated as a result of bonds with warrants, convertible bonds, profit participation rights, and/or participating bonds (or combinations of these instruments), which are issued or guaranteed by Deutsche Telekom AG or its direct or indirect majority holdings by May 16, 2023, on the basis of the authorization resolution granted by the shareholders’ meeting on May 17, 2018, fulfill their option or conversion obligations (including in the event that, in exercising a repayment option when the final due date of the bond is reached, Deutsche Telekom AG grants shares in Deutsche Telekom AG completely or partially in lieu of payment of the amount due)
and other forms of fulfillment are not used. The new shares shall participate in profits starting at the beginning of the financial year in which they are issued as the result of the exercise of any option or conversion rights or the fulfillment of any option or conversion obligations. The Supervisory Board is authorized to amend § 5 (3) of the Articles of Incorporation of Deutsche Telekom in accordance with the particular usage of the contingent capital and after the expiry of all the option or conversion periods.
Main agreements including a change of control clause
The main agreements entered into by Deutsche Telekom AG that include a clause in the event of a change of control principally relate to bilateral credit lines and several loan agreements. In the event of a change of control, the individual lenders have the right to terminate the credit line and, if necessary, serve notice or demand repayment of the loans. A change of control is assumed when a third party, which can also be a group acting jointly, acquires control over Deutsche Telekom AG.
On November 2, 2016, Deutsche Telekom AG signed a change agreement to the shareholder agreement with the Greek government from May 14, 2008 on Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A., Athens, Greece (OTE). Under this agreement, the Greek government is, under certain circumstances, entitled to acquire all shares in OTE from Deutsche Telekom AG as soon as one (or more) person(s), with the exception of the Federal Republic of Germany, either directly or indirectly acquire(s) 35 % of the voting rights of Deutsche Telekom AG.
In the master agreement establishing the procurement joint venture BuyIn in Belgium, Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange S.A. (formerly France Télécom S.A.)/Atlas Services Belgium S.A. (a subsidiary of Orange S.A.) agreed that if Deutsche Telekom or Orange comes under the controlling influence of a third party or if a third party that is not wholly owned by the Orange group of companies acquires shares in Atlas Services Belgium S.A., the respective other party (Orange and Atlas Services Belgium S.A. only jointly) may terminate the master agreement with immediate effect.
Changes in the consolidated group
61 German and 364 foreign subsidiaries are fully consolidated in Deutsche Telekom’s consolidated financial statements (December 31, 2019: 61 and 206). 15 associates (December 31, 2019: 10) and 9 joint ventures (December 31, 2019: 7) are also included using the equity method.
The principal subsidiaries of Deutsche Telekom AG are listed in the section “Summary of accounting policies – Principal subsidiaries” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.
T‑Mobile US and Sprint combined their two businesses effective April 1, 2020 to form the “all-new,” larger T‑Mobile US. The business combination gave T‑Mobile US a more comprehensive spectrum portfolio. On December 1, 2020, T‑Mobile Netherlands acquired the Dutch MVNO and SIM provider Simpel. This acquisition secures mobile market shares, creates synergies, and makes us more competitive in the consumer market.
For further information, please refer to the section “Summary of accounting policies – Changes in the composition of the Group and other transactions” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.