Deutsche Telekom’s senior managers reportedly said they would be willing to listen to offers to acquire T-Mobile US that value the resurgent business at $35 per share or more.
According to Bloomberg, a source said a strategy meeting in Berlin yesterday included discussions suggesting that $35 to $40 per share would be a realistic valuation range to trigger talks.
The news follows Deutsche Telekom rejecting an offer from French telecoms company Iliad last month, which valued the business at $33 per share.
The report could prompt Iliad to make an improved bid or for other potential suitors, such as satellite TV company Dish Network, to make an offer.
T-Mobile US CFO, Braxton Carter, previously indicated a higher offer from Iliad might be viewed more positively, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Sprint, the US number three operator, pulled out of talks to acquire T-Mobile US this month. Some sources said the Sprint offer, backed by majority owner SoftBank, valued T-Mobile at around $40 per share.
Regulatory opposition to the combination was thought to have convinced the two companies to drop their merger plans, at least for the moment, according to unnamed sources at Sprint.
T-Mobile has seen something of a turnaround recently, having returned to profit during its second quarter and recording the fastest customer growth of all US operators during the period.
However, it will soon be competing with the much larger AT&T and Verizon Wireless in forthcoming spectrum auctions. A source said the question of how T-Mobile US would fund its spectrum bids was left open in the Berlin strategy meeting.
Deutsche Telekom CEO, Timotheus Hoettges, is understood to be pressuring US regulators to create more favourable condition that will allow T-Mobile to compete with the greater financial clout of its larger rivals.