Iliad confirms bid for T-Mobile; AT&T/Verizon sell off

|About: Iliad Akt (ILIAF)|By:, SA News Editor

France's Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) is offering $15B in cash for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile USA (TMUS +7.3%) at a price of $33/share. Iliad values the remaining 43.4% at $40.50/share. Sprint (S -5.3%) has been reported to be planning a ~$40/share deal.

Iliad says it has obtained financing from unnamed banks, and would also do a capital raise to help pay for the deal. One issue: Iliad has a current market cap of just $16B, less than T-Mobile's $24.8B and Sprint's $30.6B. Sprint has reportedly lined up a $40B+ debt package to finance a T-Mobile deal.

A source tells the WSJ Iliad, which has upended the French mobile market with its aggressive pricing, views a T-Mobile merger as a "one-time opportunity to enter the world's-largest telecoms market."

Iliad also thinks (perhaps with good reason, given FCC/DOJ remarks) regulators will be more comfortable with its bid than Sprint's, since Iliad has no U.S. presence.

AT&T (T -2%) and Verizon (VZ -2.3%) have joined Sprint in selling off, as investors mull the possibility of a deal that would leave the number of nationwide U.S. carriers at 4. Concerns about Iliad's pricing history might also be weighing on shares.

Related tickers: OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCQX:DTEGY

Earlier: Iliad reportedly bids for T-Mobile USA