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Setting the standard internationally31/07/2014 - 21:04
France's Iliad bids for T-Mobile controlling stake
French upstart telecom operator Iliad said Thursday it has bid for a controlling stake in US carrier T-Mobile, offering an alternative to a potential tie-up with rival Sp...
France's Iliad bids for T-Mobile controlling stake97aef04cccc08b44015fc8cf4feb0a5ebd5de555.jpg
AFP / John Macdougall
French upstart telecom operator Iliad said it has bid for a controlling stake in US carrier T-Mobile, offering an alternative to a potential tie-up with rival Sprint
French upstart telecom operator Iliad said Thursday it has bid for a controlling stake in US carrier T-Mobile, offering an alternative to a potential tie-up with rival Sprint.
Iliad said in a statement it proposed $15 billion for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile, which is controlled by Germany's Deutsche Telekom and is the fourth largest US wireless group.
The offer was described as 42 percent over what T-Mobile's price had been before reports of a potential Sprint tie-up began circulating.
Iliad, still majority owned by French Internet pioneer and the firm's founder and former CEO Xavier Niel, carved out a major slice of the French home telecoms market through innovative offers and aggressive pricing. It was awarded a mobile phone licence in 2009.
Iliad said a deal with T-Mobile is a good fit because both firms have been "disruptive" by offering lower prices and new services to challenge major rivals.
"The US mobile market is large and attractive," said the statement by Iliad, which operates the growing Free telecom service in France.
"T-Mobile US has successfully established a disruptive position, which in many ways, is similar to the one Iliad has built in France."
The statement said that a tie-up with the French group "should not raise any antitrust issue in light of the competition rules given that Iliad is not present in the United States."
A deal for Sprint and T-Mobile to merge has been brewing for months, with one report saying terms valuing T-Mobile at more than $30 billion were being hammered out.
Sprint, the number three US carrier which is controlled by Japan's SoftBank, has made it known that it wants T-Mobile to challenge the top two operators, Verizon and T-Mobile.
T-Mobile has not publicly indicated any interest in being bought, although some reports indicate that Deutsche Telekom, which owns a controlling stake, would like to cash out.
Iliad said it would finance the deal "via a combination of debt and equity" and that it "has the support of leading international banks for the acquisition debt."
T-Mobile US shares were up more than five percent to $32.60 on the news.
Earlier Thursday, T-Mobile announced that its revenue in the second quarter was up eight percent from the same period last year, and that it had gained about 1.5 million subscribers.
T-Mobile posted a profit in the past quarter of $391 million, rebounding from a loss a year earlier.
"We have completely reversed T-Mobile's trajectory and started a revolution that is changing the rules in wireless," said T-Mobile chief executive John Legere.
"Now, with more than 50 million customers, 1.5 million customers added this quarter and five quarters in a row of over one million net new customers -- we are proud to be the fastest growing wireless company in America."
Last year, T-Mobile acquired smaller rival MetroPCS, which expanded its footprint and boosted its prepaid customers.
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Essential news in text, photo, graphic and video format31/07/2014 - 18:20
Gaza 'miracle baby' dies over complications, power cuts
AFP / Said Khatib
A Palestinian girl, Shayma Sheikh al-Eid, lies in an incubator at Nasser Hospital on July 27, 2014, two days after surgeons resuced her from her dead mother's womb
A premature baby rescued by Gaza doctors from her dead mother's womb last week has died due to complications and power cuts affecting the intensive care unit where she was treated.
The six-day-old baby was born by emergency Caesarean section Friday after doctors at Deir al-Balah hospital in central Gaza managed to save her from the womb of her mother, who died when an Israeli tank shell hit her home.
The mother, 23-year-old Shayma al-Sheikh Qanan, had been eight months pregnant, and the baby was named after her.
But the baby was deprived of oxygen between her mother's death and doctors being able to operate, which meant she had to be hooked up to a respirator at the maternity ward in Khan Yunis hospital in southern Gaza.
"The baby suffered an oxygen deficiency in the womb after her mother's heart stopped," Dr Abdel Karem al-Bawab, head of the maternity ward at Nasser hospital, told AFP Thursday.
"This deficiency caused the baby to asphyxiate unexpectedly, rendering her brain dead," he said of the tragedy, which occurred Wednesday.
"The ongoing electricity shortages played a role because her oxygen tubes did not work properly and we had to resuscitate her more than once manually."
Doctors told AFP earlier this week that her vital signs were stable but said she would have to be on the respirator for "at least three more weeks."
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