French telcoms giant Iliad bids for T-Mobile US, sparks bidding war with Sprint

Summary:French telecoms firm Iliad makes an offer for the fourth largest phone giant in the U.S., which is estimated to be worth close to $25 billion.

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Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

A likely bid by Sprint to acquire T-Mobile US may be in jeopardy after French telecoms firm Iliad made an offer for the wireless giant.

The fourth-largest U.S. phone giant, which remains under the ownership of German parent company Deutsche Telekom, could skip across the border into French hands if the deal goes through.

Iliad's bid of €12 billion ($16 billion) fell significantly short of T-Mobile's current market value of $24.8 billion. But according to a source speaking to The Wall Street Journal, the company is seeking financial support from several banks.

In June, Sprint sent ripples through the US wireless industry by securing $40 billion in financing in efforts to buy out its smaller, but significantly better-positioned wireless carrier. If the merger takes place, aside from likely antitrust concerns, the combination would create a stronger entity perhaps able to compete with Verizon and AT&T, the largest carriers in the US.

That said, Iliad believes its bid for T-Mobile wouldn't ruffle the feathers of Washington DC-based regulators because the company does not have a presence in the US, according to another person speaking to the newspaper.

T-Mobile on Thursday said it topped 50 million subscribers in its fiscal second-quarter earnings. The company reported $391 million in profit, with earnings of $0.48 per share.

T-Mobile's stock ($TMUS) rocketed by more than 5.5 percent on the New York Stock Exchange following the news.

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Image: Google Finance

(via The Wall Street Journal)

Topics: Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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