Yesterday another chapter in the never-ending saga of who will buy T-Mobile came to a close. Iliad and its billionaire founder Xavier Niel has dropped its campaign to acquire a majority stake in the company.
The French alternative mobile operator had been assembling a followup bid after getting the cold shoulder over the summer. They were said to be aiming for a 2/3 share at about $36, which would have been in the ballpark of what DT was looking for. But apparently DT simply decided it wasn't interested at this time. Iliad had set itself a deadline of mid-October for coming up with a viable deal, and they stuck to it. Investors seem glad they have, and indeed such a deal was a bit hard to figure out on paper.
So with AT&T, Softbank, and now Iliad fallen by the wayside, the John Legere and the Uncarrier will try to keep up the momentum. Through a series of provocative, audacious moves, the once beleagured fourth rail of US wireless has been posting big subscriber growth numbers and shaking up the established mobile order. Perhaps someday they'll even convince DT to stop trying to escape from the USA.
But the next suitor is widely expected to be Dish. The theory is that Charlie Ergen and crew are about due to tilt at another windmill, and who knows this time they might capture it.
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