Sep. 5, 2014, 4:35 PM
- Dish (DISH +0.9%) CEO Charlie Ergen contacted Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) to let the carrier know he's interested in a deal to buy T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.3%), sources tell Bloomberg. T-Mobile spiked shortly before the close on the report.
- Ergen hasn't been shy about making his interest in T-Mobile public, as Dish continues looking for ways to put its 4G spectrum to use. Sources caution Dish hasn't yet hired a bank to help pursue a bid, and that its seriousness is unclear.
- Bloomberg reported last week DT is open to a T-Mobile deal at $35/share. French carrier Iliad is trying to partner with P-E firms to sweeten its T-Mobile bid, after an initial $33/share offer for a 56.6% stake was rebuffed.
Sep. 3, 2014, 4:12 PM
- T-Mobile (TMUS +0.2%) is selling senior notes due 2023 and 2025. The offering's size and pricing are undisclosed for now.
- The self-proclaimed Un-carrier says proceeds will be used for "general corporate purposes, which may include capital investments, acquisition of additional spectrum and repayment of certain indebtedness."
- The offering's prospectus suggests at least some of the funds will be used at a November auction for spectrum in the high-frequency AWS-3 band. A bigger auction for low-frequency spectrum (badly sought by T-Mobile and Sprint to improve their rural/suburban coverage) is due next year.
- T-Mobile had $17.1B in debt as of June 30, and $3.1B in cash.
Sep. 1, 2014, 7:18 AM
- Despite its first bid at T-Mobile USA (NYSE:TMUS) being rebuffed, Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) says it is continuing to pursue a 56.6% stake of the mobile operator, and may now even partner with private equity funds to raise its offer.
- Iliad previously offered a bid of $33/share, although T-Mobile USA called the offer "a very inadequate value proposition."
- A report from Bloomberg last week announced that parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is open to holding talks to sell T-Mobile USA for $35/share or more.
Aug. 28, 2014, 1:03 PM
- Bloomberg reports Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is open to holding talks to sell T-Mobile USA (TMUS +2.1%) at $35/share or more. T-Mobile has risen above $30 in response.
- DT owns 67% of T-Mobile USA. French carrier Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) has offered $33/share for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile, a bid T-Mobile has dismissed as "very inadequate."
- Sprint was rumored to be prepping a $40/share bid before abandoning its plans due to regulatory opposition.
Aug. 21, 2014, 1:31 PM
- Three days after launching new shared data plans (along with big short-term promotions), Sprint (S +1%) has rolled out a $60/month individual plan that provides unlimited data to go with unlimited voice/text. Like the shared data plans, Sprint's offering requires users to forgo smartphone subsidies.
- Sprint notes the individual plan is $20/month cheaper than a comparable T-Mobile (TMUS -1.1%) unlimited plan. For $60/month, T-Mobile offers individuals 3GB of data to go with unlimited voice/text. AT&T and Verizon don't offer unlimited data.
- Meanwhile, in a PR titled "T-Mobile Urges Its Customers to Rescue Sprint Customers," T-Mobile states it will give both a new customer and an existing customer unlimited data for a year, when the latter gets the former to sign up. Those already on unlimited plans will get $10/month in credit for 12 months.
- Sprint lost 181K core platform postpaid subs in Q2, while T-Mobile (aided by aggressive pricing and promotions) posted 908K branded postpaid net adds. Sprint shares are down 23% since reports emerged on Aug. 5 the carrier is abandoning its efforts to acquire T-Mobile.
Aug. 18, 2014, 7:19 PM
- After recently promising big price cuts, Sprint (NYSE:S) has launched Family Share Packs, a pricing scheme that bears a strong resemblance to AT&T and Verizon's subsidy-free shared data plans. Unlike regular Framily plans, there's no drop in per-line charges upon adding new members.
- Sprint argues its pricing sharply undercuts rivals. For example, a family sharing 20GB between four lines would pay $160/month, less than the $210/month charged by AT&T and Verizon for similar plans, and the $180/month charged by T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) for a plan featuring 5GB/line for four lines.
- However, Sprint fails to undercut T-Mobile among families requiring less data. With Sprint charging an extra $10/month per line to those buying a bucket smaller than 20GB, an 8GB bucket costs $170/month to a family of four, and a 4GB bucket $140/month. By contrast, a $140/month T-Mobile plan provides 12GB (3GB/line) to a family of four.
- At the same time, Sprint is following T-Mobile's lead in offering aggressive short-term promotions: Until the end of September, the carrier is waiving $15/month access line charges through 2015 for families buying plans with 20GB or larger buckets, and is also throwing in an extra 2GB/line.
Aug. 13, 2014, 6:37 PM
- Iliad's (OTC:ILIAF) $33/share offer to buy a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile USA (TMUS -1.6%) is "very flattering," but also "a very inadequate value proposition," says T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter.
- However, Carter, whose company just saw Sprint abandon its attempt to buy it (for now) due to FCC/DOJ opposition, suggests T-Mobile is open to a better offer. "I think rarely people come with their best bid to start."
- For the time being, Iliad insists there's no need for a higher offer - T-Mobile currently trades at $29.14. But the French carrier has been reported to be reaching out to potential investors to sweeten its bid.
- Dish Network (DISH +1%) is also viewed as a potential T-Mobile suitor. Dish is still trying to find a use for its spectrum assets, and Charlie Ergen has repeatedly suggested he's open to a T-Mobile merger. But there are doubts about Dish's ability to pull off a deal, given both Dish and T-Mobile have plenty of high-yield debt on their balance sheets.
Aug. 7, 2014, 5:36 AM
- T-Mobile USA's (NYSE:TMUS) parent, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), has confirmed that it currently has no offer for T-Mobile USA which would boost the No.4 U.S. telecom provider's position.
- "We have always said that we would be open to offers for T-Mobile US which would improve its position and that of its shareholders," announces Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges. "At the moment we don't have an offer which fits those criteria."
Aug. 6, 2014, 9:14 AM
Aug. 5, 2014, 6:58 PM
- The WSJ reports Sprint (NYSE:S) is abandoning its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA (NYSE:TMUS) due to excessive regulatory hurdles.
- There were already many doubts about the ability of a Sprint/T-Mobile deal to pass muster with regulators.
- If Sprint is out of the picture, the coast is clear for Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) to pursue T-Mobile, provided financing isn't an issue. There were multiple reports earlier today indicating T-Mobile is rejecting Iliad's initial $33/share offer for a 56.6% stake.
- TMUS -5.6% AH
- Related tickers: OTCQX:DTEGY, OTCPK:SFTBF
Aug. 5, 2014, 3:59 PM
- The WSJ reports T-Mobile USA (TMUS +0.8%) has rejected Iliad's (OTC:ILIAF) request for access to its books, and won't change its mind in the absence of a better bid. The FT reports a formal rejection of Iliad's $33/share offer for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile could arrive tomorrow.
- As it is, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) was reported to have liked Sprint's (S -1.4%) offer better. Sprint and parent SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) are rumored to be offering ~$40/share, but their bid also carries much more regulatory risk.
- Reuters reports Iliad is talking with investors for help in sweetening its offer. Sources state the carrier has engaged pay-TV providers Dish , Cox, and Charter, as well as infrastructure, pension, and sovereign wealth funds.
- The news service adds DT is (not surprisingly) skeptical about Iliad's claim a merger between a French carrier and a U.S. carrier will yield $10B in synergies.
Aug. 1, 2014, 4:20 PM
- "If two of the largest companies are able to bid as one combined entity in the auction, their combined resources may have the effect of suppressing meaningful competition," says the FCC in a blog post. The post outlines a proposal by chairman Tom Wheeler that bars carriers from jointly bidding in next year's huge low-frequency spectrum auctions.
- The WSJ reported two weeks ago Sprint (S +1.4%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +1.4%), each of whom have a dearth of low-frequency spectrum relative to AT&T and Verizon, plan to form a JV that would raise $10B to jointly bid in the auction. The funds would be obtained through a $45B financing package SoftBank is lining up for a Sprint/T-Mobile merger.
- "It’s certainly a hint that they are predisposed against a merger," says analyst Craig Moffett about the FCC's stance. Prospective T-Mobile acquirer Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) must be pleased.
Aug. 1, 2014, 4:08 AM| 5 Comments
Jul. 31, 2014, 3:58 PM
- Sources tell Bloomberg T-Mobile USA (TMUS +6.7%) parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) views Iliad's (OTC:ILIAF) $33/share offer for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile as less competitive than Sprint's (S -5.9%) bid, previously reported to be around $40/share.
- Though Iliad declares its bid values the T-Mobile shares it won't own at $40.50, that figure includes $10B worth of synergies the French carrier predicts a merger will yield. Sprint and SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF), of course, predict their offer would also yield major synergies.
- "Iliad is about a third of the size of T-Mobile US, and we don't think there would be synergies from the deal," says analyst Jonathan Chaplin. He adds a deal will be tough to finance without Iliad founder/majority shareholder Xavier Neil surrendering control.
- Nonetheless, T-Mobile has rallied to $33 on news of Iliad's bid, which is bound to face less FCC/DOJ scrutiny if accepted and successfully financed.
- The offer is overshadowing a solid Q2 report from T-Mobile. The carrier saw 1.5M net customer adds in Q2 (up from 1.3M in Q1), slightly more than Verizon's Q2 adds and well above AT&T and Sprint's. Branded postpaid net adds totaled 908K (579K phone adds), and branded prepaid net adds 102K. Service revenue rose 7.1% Y/Y.
Jul. 31, 2014, 1:02 PM
- 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
Jul. 31, 2014, 11:54 AM| 2 Comments
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T-Mobile US Inc provideswireless communication servicesin the postpaid, prepaid, and wholesale markets.The Company's products and services includevoice, messaging, data services,wireless devices, smartphones and other mobile communication devices.
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