T-Mobile is reportedly set to reject the surprise $15 billion bid by France’s Iliad. Sources speaking with CNBC claim Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile U.S., didn’t feel the offer put in by Iliad was enough. Following an acknowledgment by T-Mobile U.S.’s board, an official rejection announcement could hit as early as tomorrow.
With negotiations with Japan’s Softbank still ongoing, Iliad’s $33-a-share offer was considered by Deutsche Telekom as too low; Softbank, which acquired Sprint las year, has reportedly offered T-Mobile about $40 per share. If Softbank is successful in its pursuit of T-Mobile, it will shrink the “Big Four” carrier landscape down to three. Before that, however, it will need to go through a number of regulatory steps before a deal is approved.
Despite Iliad’s obvious interest, Deutsche Telekom seemingly sees no benefit in giving the French carrier control, especially when a Softbank acquisition would in effect make the combination of Sprint and T-Mobile a stronger competitor in the U.S. Another source close to discussions told CNBC that Iliad could come back with an even higher offer, though it’s unclear if Deutsche Telekom would consider the higher bid.
If T-Mobile does officially spurn Iliad’s advances, it will no doubt turn focus to discussions with Softbank, though a sale isn’t expected in the near term.