Don't expect any huge changes in the US mobile industry for the foreseeable future — at least when it comes to acquisitions. The Iliad Group has abandoned its pursuit of T-Mobile US, issuing a press release today that says Deutsche Telekom and "select" T-Mobile board members "have refused to entertain its new offer." The French telecom company originally showed interest in T-Mobile back in July, but its initial offer, which would have given Iliad a 56.6% stake in the fourth-place US carrier, was quickly rebuffed.
But Iliad recently put in a second try and was ready to purchase as much as 67 percent of T-Mobile US's capital. Offer two was "about USD $36 per share," Iliad said today, but apparently that wasn't enough for the top brass at T-Mobile US. The goal was "to accelerate T-Mobile US' transformation," but without much in the way of spectrum, Iliad was never really the ideal partner Sprint would have been. Sprint's plan to purchase T-Mobile US completely fell apart under the scrutiny of an FCC that clearly favors the current "big four" industry model. For its part, Iliad still maintains a deal between it and the Uncarrier "would have created significant value for both Iliad's and T-Mobile US' shareholders," but now concedes that's not going to happen.
It's been reported that Deutsche Telekom is eager to rid itself of T-Mobile US, but there's no urgent reason to sell right now. T-Mobile is riding strong momentum and adding more postpaid subscribers than ever before; CEO John Legere would tell you his company is doing just fine on its current trajectory. In fact, he's already vowed to pass the struggling Sprint in subscriber count by the end of this calendar year.