Iliad Said to Ponder Another Bid for T-Mobile

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q2 2014.**

Iliad, the French telecom company, is not giving up on its plans to acquire T-Mobile US Inc.

Sources “familiar with the situation” told Reuters that Iliad is in conversations with a number of U.S. banks to help the company finance a possible improved bid for T-Mobile, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless provider. Over the summer, Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile and its majority owner, Deutsche Telekom, balked at an offer from Iliad that would have given it a 56.6 percent stake in the “uncarrier” in exchange for $15 billion in cash.

Iliad has set a deadline of mid-October to decide whether to sweeten its bid or walk away, sources told Reuters.

T-Mobile US and Iliad declined to comment to the news agency on its report.

Rich Karpinski, an analyst with 451 Research, said in a written statement that a higher bid wouldn’t necessarily entice T-Mobile because the U.S. carrier is also seeking spectrum to complement its network and a strong strategic partner. He bet T-Mobile will likely reject a higher offer from Iliad.

Other factors also could spoil Iliad’s plans. Sources told Bloomberg News that Deutsche Telekom board members are split over whether the German telecom giant should sell its only growing asset. With a customer count of roughly 50 million as of June 30, T-Mobile has added more than 1 million customers in each of the last five quarters.

This is not the first time Deutsche Telekom has considered shedding its interest in T-Mobile. Three years ago, AT&T had inked a $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile but U.S. regulators rejected the agreement and AT&T eventually walked away from it. More recently, Sprint and T-Mobile gave up on merger talks this summer in the face of regulatory opposition.

Deutsche Telekom owns roughly a 67 percent interest in T-Mobile.

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