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Ah ha, mon amour violet ... French Iliad attempts to nibble on T-Mobile US

Offer for American telco may already have been tossed in le poubelle

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French telco Iliad has made a surprise offer to acquire a majority stake in mobile carrier T-Mobile US, though the bid may have already been shot down.

Following multiple press reports, Iliad confirmed it was indeed making an offer to buy out a 56.6 per cent stake in T-Mob US.

"The US mobile market is large and attractive," the French broadband and mobile service provider said [PDF].

"T-Mobile US has successfully established a disruptive position, which in many ways, is similar to the one Iliad has built in France."

According to Iliad, the acquisition offer totals $15bn in cash for a controlling stake. The company would pay $33 per share. T-Mobile US stock was trading at $32.94 Thursday afternoon, up $6 following the firm's latest quarterly report.

The French company said it would secure the funds for the deal from financiers via a combination of "debt and equity."

T-Mobile US has been linked to multiple merger and acquisition rumors as of late. Most notably, the company was linked to an acquisition by rival wireless carrier Sprint. A bid from another company could be seen as preferable by shareholders weary that US regulators would strike down a Sprint merger consolidating the US mobile market.

According to reports, however, Iliad's ambitious offer for T-Mobile US may be dead before it even leaves the ground. The New York Times cited sources at majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom in saying that the company has already turned down the bid.

Word of the Iliad offer comes as T-Mobile US reported continuing growth in its subscriber base on the strength of the "Uncarrier" promotional campaign. CEO John Legere reported that the firm added 1.5 million new subscribers in the last fiscal quarter, inflating the company's total customer base to 50.5 million people. ®

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