Iliad, the upstart French telecommunications company, said Monday it was ending its attempt to take over T-Mobile US, the big American wireless carrier. It said it was doing so despite having raised both the size of the stake it was willing to acquire and the price it was willing to pay.
In July, Iliad said it had offered $15 billion for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile US, a surprising move that announced the global ambitions of Iliad, which has disrupted the market for cellphone plans in France. At the time, the offer also complicated fledgling merger talks between T-Mobile US and Overland Park-based Sprint that would have created a true third rival to Verizon Wireless and AT&T, the two largest American cellphone carriers.
T-Mobile US rejected the bid from Iliad, and talks with Sprint fell apart later in the summer. And on Monday, Iliad said it would not continue its pursuit of T-Mobile US.
In a statement, Iliad said it decided to end its efforts “following exchanges with Deutsche Telekom and selected board members of T-Mobile US who have refused to entertain its new offer.”
Deutsche Telekom still owns a large stake in T-Mobile US, but was apparently uninterested in talks with the French company even after it said it sweetened its offer. Iliad said Monday that it was willing to acquire 67 percent of T-Mobile US, up from the original 56.6 percent, and that it was prepared to pay $36 a share, up from its original offer of $33 a share.
“Iliad had the ambition to accelerate T-Mobile US' transformation, notably by saving more than $2 billion of cost annually,” Iliad said in a statement. “This transaction would have created significant value for both Iliad’s and T-Mobile US' shareholders. The Iliad Group will continue its profitable growth policy as it has been conducted over the last 15 years in the interest of its subscribers, employees and shareholders.”