Lately it seems that everyone is looking to buy T-Mobile USA if the Sprint deal doesn’t get approved by the FCC. We’ve heard rumors of Dish, and a few others looking to buy the magenta carrier now. And now a new rumor coming out of The Wall Street Journal is point towards a French telecom named Iliad looking to pick up the US’ fourth largest carrier. Evidentally, Iliad has made a buyout bid to compete with Softbank, who just purchased Sprint not too long ago and now are looking to pick up T-Mobile as well.
During the T-Mobile USA earnings call this morning, Legere said that the carrier was looking for other options to expand its business in the US. This was in response to the question about Sprint’s merger with the company. So this could be that other option. However, John Legere, nor T-Mobile has commented on the issue just yet. Not that they would be able to anyways. What’s strange here is that T-Mobile USA is actually worth more than Iliad. According to the WSJ, Iliad is worth around $16 billion and T-Mobile USA is worth $24.8 billion. It’s said that Iliad is attempting to secure financing right now for a deal.
“Iliad, which has sparked a fierce price war in France’s mobile-telephone market via its cutthroat rates, sees the offer as a “one-time opportunity to enter the world’s-largest telecoms market,” said the person.”
Iliad actually sounds a lot like T-Mobile, but in France. Given that they have cutthroat rates, which is basically what T-Mobile is doing here, but with a few other goodies in the Uncarrier revolution. Iliad is looking to pick up T-Mobile so they can make a play at becoming a large world telecom. Much like Vodafone, and even Deutsche Telekom to an extent.
Remember that this is a rumor, so we’ll treat as one until we learn more about it. But seeing as it’s coming from the WSJ, it’s likely true, or Iliad is at least thinking about it. As WSJ doesn’t typically publish untrue rumors or rumors that may not be true.
Update: It has been confirmed that Iliad is making a bid for T-Mobile USA. So it’s no longer a rumor. The bid is for $15 billion and would give the French carrier a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile USA if Deutsche Telekom agrees, and the regulators approve it.