Ever since December of last year, we’ve heard rumblings that SoftBank, Sprint’s parent company, would make a bid for T-Mobile USA, currently under Deutsche Telekom. However, in a surprising turn of events, French telecommunications firm Iliad SA came from out of nowhere and officially made an offer to purchase T-Mobile, according to CNBC.
Iliad made a $15 billion cash offer to purchase 56.6 percent of T-Mobile USA, which was submitted to T-Mobile’s board of directors. “The U.S. mobile market is large and attractive,” said the French company in a statement. “T-Mobile US has successfully established a disruptive position, which in many ways, is similar to the one Iliad has built in France.”
The company is referring to its aggressive stance when it comes to pricing, which involve plans going for as little as $2.68 (€2) per month. Iliad’s carrier subsidiary, Free Mobile, has captured more than 12 percent of the French market, even though it’s only been around since 2012.
According to Iliad, it is currently working with international banks to secure financing necessary for the deal, and given Iliad’s market value, it will likely take on quite a bit of debt. Iliad is currently valued at $16 billion, while T-Mobile is valued at $24.8 billion.
This might throw a wrench into SoftBank’s plans, which, until recently, involved the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile taking place sometime after September. Up until now, it was reported that SoftBank would purchase half of T-Mobile’s shares from Deutsche Telekom for $16 billion.