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T-Mobile Says Iliad’s $15 Billion Bid Ignores Growth Upside (2)

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- T-Mobile US Inc. regards Iliad SA’s $15 billion bid for a majority stake in the company as too low given its growth prospects, the U.S. wireless carrier’s finance chief said.

Iliad’s proposal was “very inadequate,” T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter said yesterday at an investor conference in Boston. “We believe today that we’re undervalued. And we believe that our forward potential is significant.”

Iliad, based in Paris, is left as the only bidder for T- Mobile after Sprint Corp. ended talks over buying the fourth- largest U.S. mobile-phone company. Iliad, which last month offered $15 billion in cash for 56.6 percent of Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile, is seeking partners to help finance its bid and allow it to make an offer for a larger stake, a person familiar with the matter has said.

“Very rarely do people come with their best bid to start,” Carter said.

T-Mobile shares declined 1.5 percent to close at $28.69 in New York. Iliad rose less than 1 percent to 171 euros in Paris. Deutsche Telekom AG, T-Mobile’s Bonn-based parent, declined less than 1 percent to 11.25 euros in Frankfurt.

Wi-Fi Deal?

Carter was asked at the conference if T-Mobile could strike a deal to share its voice and data traffic with the Wi-Fi networks of cable companies like Comcast Corp. Carter said the T-Mobile network was set up to handle Wi-Fi calling and data, and that it was a great tool to help manage traffic on the cellular network.

A partnership with a company that has extensive Wi-Fi capability “could be a very powerful value proposition,” Carter said.

Comcast would be a prime prospective partner if T-Mobile needed to boost its network capacity with Wi-Fi, John Butler, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a research note today. John Demming, a Comcast spokesman, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ville Heiskanen in Helsinki at vheiskanen@bloomberg.net; Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net Crayton Harrison

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