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France's Iliad bids adieu to T-Mobile, withdraws takeover bid

French telecom provider says T-Mobile and parent company Deutsche Telekom refused to entertain its new offer.

French telecommunications provider Iliad's unlikely bid to acquire T-Mobile US came to an end on Monday.

Iliad founder Xavier Niel
Iliad founder Xavier Niel. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Iliad confirmed in a statement that it "put an end to its project of acquiring T-Mobile US" after the US carrier and its German parent, Deutsche Telekom, refused to entertain its latest offer. In July, Iliad offered $15 billion in cash, or $33 a share, for a 56.6 percent stake in T-Mobile. Its new offer was for a 67 percent stake at a price that Iliad argued was worth $36 a share (when factoring the cash and value created from the deal).

T-Mobile shares fell 3 percent to $26.82 in recent trading.

The announcement officially puts an end to months of drama over where T-Mobile would end up, with the nation's fourth-largest carrier by subscriber base seemingly headed to a merger with Sprint. Sprint and Japanese parent SoftBank backed off of the deal due to regulatory scrutiny, creating a small opening for Iliad to step in.

T-Mobile, meanwhile, has enjoyed significant momentum under its "Uncarrier" campaign, with the company expected to again post impressive subscriber growth numbers in the third quarter. The company already touted record gross subscriber additions in August, signing up 2.75 million new customers in the month.

T-Mobile said it expects to surpass rival Sprint in subscriber base by the end of the year.

T-Mobile declined to comment.