French telecoms firm Iliad SA has made a buyout offer for T-Mobile US Inc., setting the stage for a potential bidding war with Sprint Corp.
Iliad offered US$15 billion in cash, or US$33 a share, for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile US, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
T-Mobile US had a market value of US$24.8 billion before news of Iliad’s interest surfaced.
Iliad, which had sparked a fierce price war in France’s mobile-telephone market, sees the offer as a “one-time opportunity to enter the world’s-largest telecoms market,” a source told the Journal.
T-Mobile had been in talks for months on a merger deal with larger US rival Sprint. The two sides are said to have agreed on the broad outlines of a deal valuing T-Mobile US at more than US$30 billion.
Despite the lower offer, Iliad believes it has a strong card to play because its bid will not face the antitrust scrutiny that confronts Sprint in trying to merge with T-Mobile US, Reuters noted.
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