French operator Iliad drops plans to acquire T-Mobile US

PCWorld News

French telecommunications company Iliad has dropped its bid for a majority stake in T-Mobile US after an improved offer was rejected by the U.S. carriers’ majority owner Deutsche Telekom.

Iliad said it had put an end to its plan “following exchanges with Deutsche Telekom and selected board members of T-Mobile US who have refused to entertain its new offer.”

A wired and wireless operator, Iliad is known for its aggressive pricing and offers, an image that T-Mobile, the fourth largest cellular carrier in the U.S., has also acquired by doing away with service contract lock-in and unbundling annual service contracts from handset sales.

In July, Iliad said it had offered US$15 billion in cash for a 56.6 percent stake, at $33 a share, in T-Mobile. The bid priced the U.S. operator at $36.2 per share, up 42 percent over T-Mobile’s closing share price on Dec. 12, before speculation about a Sprint bid affected the price, Iliad said.

Iliad’s July offer was rejected by the board of T-Mobile US, which led the operator to tie up with a consortium of private equity funds and banks to make an improved bid for T-Mobile. Iliad said it offered to increase the stake it planned to acquire in T-Mobile to 67 percent and pay about $36 a share in what it described as a total of cash and “share of value creation.”

The French operator planned to accelerate T-Mobile US’ transformation, including by saving more than $2 billion of cost annually, it said Monday.

T-Mobile US and Deutsche Telekom could not be immediately reached for comment.

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