Here we go again. Shares in T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE:TMUS) shares jumped over 3 percent in afternoon trading on Thursday to $29.07 on news French telecommunications company Iliad SA (EPA:ILD) is preparing a new bid for a larger stake in the company. The French telecommunications company originally proposed buying 56.6 percent of the fourth largest U.S. carrier in July.
This time Iliad is raising its bid for a bigger total stake while keeping the offer at around $33 a share. T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S), the third largest U.S. mobile carrier, withdrew its offer to buy T-Mobile in August following Iliad’s initial surprise offer. Iliad argued that its bid had a higher chance of success it was more likely to easily pass U.S. regulatory muster,
“In contemplating a possible transaction with T-Mobile US, Iliad will ensure strict financial discipline and value creation for all Iliad shareholders,” the company said in a press release in July. “This transaction should not raise any antitrust issue in light of the competition rules given that Iliad is not present in the United States.”
Iliad, controlled by French entrepreneur Xavier Niel, has set a deadline of this month for reaching a preliminary agreement with Deutsche Telekom, which owns just over 66 percent of T-Mobile, Bloomberg reported.
A deal would be very much like a flounder swallowing a whale. T-Mobile reported 50 million subscribers in their last earnings period; Iliad, which services the low-cost end of the French market, has 5.7 million broadband subscribers and 8.6 million wireless subscribers.
T-Mobile reported fiscal 2014 second-quarter earnings in July that revealed the company had another strong growth quarter after the company posted a profit and beat Wall Street forecasts. T-Mobile issued net income of $391 million, or 48 cents share, compared with a loss of $54 million, or 2 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 15.4 percent year-over-year to $7.2 billion. For 2014, T-Mobile expects adjusted earnings to be in the range of $5.6 to $5.8 billion.