Trujillo tries for T-Mobile takeover: report

Sol Trujillo is reportedly ready for his next big telco challenge, attempting to kick start a private equity takeover of the US arm of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile.

Former Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo is reportedly trying to drum up interest in the US for a private equity takeover of the US arm of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile.

Sol Trujillo
(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ ZDNet)

Trujillo had pitched to a number of private equity firms, according to a Bloomberg report, and has so far been unsuccessful. Trujillo is reportedly interested in all or part of T-Mobile USA, which Bloomberg thought would be worth $30 billion, with spectrum assets being a major part of the value. One of Bloomberg's sources also thought he was angling for Sprint Nextel.

Trujillo has previously headed up large US telcos US West and Orange and has also spent time in Australia as the CEO of the dominant communications company, Telstra.

During his time at Telstra, Trujillo took a hard line with the government and competitors , working with his communications wingman Phil Burgess to fight a war of attrition against providing open access to its networks.

The relationship between the government and Telstra under Trujillo had been so fraught that when the current Labor government moved ahead with its fibre to the node National Broadband Network plan, Telstra submitted what was ruled an incomplete bid to build the network , resulting in derision from the opposition and a decision by the government in April 2009 to create NBN Co and change its plan to fibre to the home.

Having announced his intentions to leave earlier in the year, Trujillo was gone by May , replaced by David Thodey, who has played the role of negotiator with the government, sealing a deal with the government that would allow the NBN to be built more easily and ultimately see Telstra's customers migrated onto the national fibre network.

Trujillo's biggest triumph at Telstra was the building of the Next G mobile network. At the time, Telstra charged a premium for mobile services over its competitors, but under Thodey, Telstra slashed prices and has picked up millions of new mobile customers over the past few years at the expense of Vodafone and Optus.

T-Mobile declined to comment.


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