Iliad purportedly in talks with private-equity firms to raise cash for T-Mobile bid

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According to Bloomberg‘s sources, Iliad is talking to yet more companies in order to raise more capital for its attempt to take over T-Mobile.

Iliad is a name which I (and I suspect, many of you) had never come across until it opted to submit an audacious bid to buy a 56% stake in T-Mobile US in July. The move was announced just days before Sprint decided to back out of its own plans to merge with the Deutsche Telekom-owned U.S. carrier. The initial bid, valued at around $33 per share was viewed as far too low for T-Mobile and was dismissed right away. But now, both companies are in different positions.

DT’s executives have allegedly decided that the figure should be at least $35 per share, and Iliad’s seemingly doing everything it can to try and raise the extra money to buy a larger share than it had initially planned. Not long ago, the French telecoms company was said to be approaching tech giants, Google and Microsoft (among others) in order to raise the funds. And now, it’s supposedly in discussions with some other private-equity firms.

Financial and industrial partners have approached Iliad about a joint offer for T-Mobile, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Reynaud said at a press conference in Paris today. Iliad has been talking to U.S. buyout firms as well as companies and sovereign-wealth funds, the people said.

“Our offer is still valid, and probably even more relevant than at the end of July,” Reynaud said, calling a joint bid for a larger T-Mobile stake “one of the options.”

Exactly where we go from here is yet to be seen. Regardless of its successes in the U.S. market, Deutsche Telekom is keen to sell T-Mobile in order to focus on its efforts in an increasingly difficult European market.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • James Shaggy

    Hopefully the make a bid to for Tmobile, US Cellular and Cspire all at one time. A merger on that scale would help Tmobile become a bigger disruption to the mobile arena.

    • monkeybutts

      Cspire+T-mobile I could see. US Cellular is probably a little too big at the moment.

      • emcdonald75

        I sure hope so because CSpire and US Cellular have AWS, PCS, and 700 A block spectrum. Both companies fit perfectly with Tmobile’s spectrum assets. The problem I see with a CSpire and US Cellular purchase, is the fact that both companies don’t want to sell.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Tmobile should partner with them. They can lease spectrum to tmobile and enter roaming agreements.

    • jeremyvbk

      You would have sprint then just go under and buyout those two, because Iliad will not have the money to buy all three. Sprint/Softbank would grab both, and then you’d have Iliad the parent company broke, it would take serious consolidation, and no expansion for awhile to regain its composure

  • Willie D

    Let’s start with just getting TMo up and running properly on its own scale, then buying out other companies and merging into one.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Tmobile definitely needs some lte roaming agreements or lease spectrum in the west like Verizon does

    • Moby

      T-Mobile’s stock is up for sale to whomever has the money. That has nothing to do with the operation of the company.

  • Mike Palomba

    I don’t think this is a good idea, the fact that illad is going to be using almost all of it’s money to buy tmobile means that it won’t have any money to invest into the French or US market. How will network expansion continue if they’re up to their eyeballs in debt? Day should keep tmobile because eventually it will be a thriving company making a ton of money, it’s just a matter of when.

    • The same way that T-Mobile does: via revenue.

    • enkay1

      Iliad isn’t the only one who could help on that front. Dish and these financial firms could add to the network upgrade/expansion pot.

      • Mike Palomba

        I know, I really want dish to buy T-Mobile and not Illiad since they have spectrum that will help T-Mobile and may be able to do a TV Cell bundle which would be great if it was less. With added spectrum and the ability to provide bundles T-Mobile would go straight to the top

    • Paul Garrison

      All you need is growing revenue. I said it like it is an easy thing, LOL.

  • Alex Zapata

    This little charade by Iliad has been going on for quite some time, might one call it an….Odyssey? Hahaha (end of stupid joke)

    • Adrayven

      Sprint had a ‘charade’ going on a LOT longer (over a year).. iliad’s interest is barely a 2 months.

      • Alex Zapata

        It was a joke….admittedly a terrible one. Also, Sprint isn’t cool enough for me to crack jokes about.

        • PHL

          It wasn’t terrible. I just think it went over the heads of most people.

        • Christopher Olson

          Yea I guess education systems aren’t requiring homer’s readings like they used to.

        • Paul Garrison

          I don’t think that is required reading anymore. Ha!

        • Josh Robert Nay

          Sprint already IS a joke. No need for more. ;)

    • ChitChatCat

      #win. I wish that I could post Pun Dog.

  • Marius Oprisan

    Looks like T-mobile is betting on european market. Starting september they will rebrand 2 romanian networks, which they already owned (Cosmote – mobile telephony and Romtelecom- landline, internet and cable). They will merge both companies into one, bearing the T brand.

    • Andy T

      Pls send me a link of this info.

      That means the big Greek Cosmote is under T-Mobile?

      As far as i know Cosmote it’s a part of T-Mobile aleance. If T is the owner of Cosmote that means they got the hole “Balkan Region”.
      Romania -Cosmote
      Greece -Cosmote
      Bulgaria – Cosmote
      Albania – Cosmote (AMC)

      They are under T brand in Macedonia, Croatia etc etc…

      • Marius Oprisan

        Yes, those two romanian companies were majority owned by OTE, greek company where DT has shares. Here’s a link to an english article. Rebranding is 100% certain as they made the announcement in Romania:

        http://www.4-traders.com/DEUTSCHE-TELEKOM-AG-444661/news/Deutsche-Telekom–RomTelecom-Cosmote-rebrand-as-Telekom-Romania-next-month-18907267/

      • Marius Oprisan

        These two romanian companies were majority owned by OTE, greek company where DT has shares. The info about these two companies being merged under T brand is sure, because they made an official announcement in Romania. Apparently I cannot post links, but you can google “Cosmote and Romtelecom rebranding” and you will find some english articles as well.

  • I think this would be a a good buy for them. I for one, am tired of all the rumors. Let’s have some actual confirmations!

    • josephsinger

      I want VodaFone to buy T-Mobile US.

  • justmee02

    Free escargots for current and new Iliad USA customers for life! :-)

  • Nearmsp

    One of the advantages of a European company buying T-mobile is in the current times, there is a greater choice of no roaming reciprocity between US and Europe.

    • kalel33

      So how will that change from one European telecom owning T-moble to another European telecom owning T-mobile?

  • Shorttyy713

    What about 700mhz news?

  • DT wants to focus attention in Europe and divest from America while Iliαd wants to diversify out of Europe and invest in America. Methinks that the problem lies not in the European or American markets, but in DT.

    • calvin200

      TMobile is amazing and it’s not going to cost a lot of money to build out it’s network. Or it is going to be a hard fight and a gamble. DT doesn’t want that risk.

  • Paul Garrison

    It would great to have a parent company that would invest in the market so it could grow.

  • Change is Good

    I’m glad DT is upfront and honest about selling T-Mobile USA. Let’s get this over with and move on.

    • TechHog

      No they aren’t. The $35/share thing is a leak/rumor.