Brrring…Brrring…Brrring… “Hello, this is T-Mobile. No, we won’t be accepting your $15 billion bid to acquire our company, Iliad.”
Billionaire Xavier Navier, owner of the French telecommunications company Iliad, made an all-cash offer last Friday to acquire 56.6% of T-Mobile US for $15 billion. T-Mobile rejected the offer, and is standing firm, holding out for a potentially greater payout through Sprint who’s also expressed interest (June of this year) in acquiring the company to the tune of $32 billion.
Iliad has developed and maintained enormous success in the French ISP market. When Iliad branched out into the mobile services arena, the company went from no customer base to having over 8.5 million subscribers in just 2 years. They accomplished this by offering affordable non-contractual packages which is something customers clamor for.
Niel has reportedly been attempting to tap into the US market for some time now. He’s also been credited with starting a pricing war in France by undercutting his competition with Iliad’s affordable and quality service. Many consumers welcome the idea of Iliad making its way over the pond.
Still, it’s a no go for T-Mobile whose sights are set on Sprint, as Sprint acquiring the company would turn them into a serious and leading competitor to AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Two months ago, in a tentative deal between Sprint and T-Mobile, Sprint would pay around $40 per share for T-Mobile, valuing the company at $32 billion. They would also assume T-Mobile’s net debt of close to $9 billion. The deal continues to going through some legal wrangling before a deal is solidified.
In 2013, Verizon Wireless led the industry with 119 subscribers and AT&T was a close second with 109 million. Combining Sprint’s 54 million subscribers with T-Mobile’s 45 million would make a sizable presence within the industry.