Rumour mill: T-Mobile UK rejects bids, but operator remains in play

News that France Telecom Orange made an unsuccessful bid for T-Mobile UK surfaced this weekend, followed by strenuous denies from Vodafone that it had offered to swap its troubled Turkish subsidiary in exchange for T-Mobile UK.

Orange apparently made the offer over the past few months, but T-Mobile UK's German parent, Deutsche Telekom (DT), rebuffed the approach having previously dropped hints it might be willing to offload its underperforming UK operation. However, it would appear DT is willing to give the newly appointed MD, Richard Moat, time to resuscitate T-Mobile UK and thereby boost the potential asking price.

This revelation also provoked speculation Vodafone had proposed exchanging its Turkish operation for T-Mobile UK which would have boosted DT's position in the eastern Mediterranean given its control of Greek operator OTE. However, the deal has been strongly denied by Vodafone.

But this ongoing guesswork about T-Mobile UK's future is said to have attracted the attention of private equity bidders who are reported to be closely examining the option of making an offer.

For more on this story:
Guardian and TelecomTV

Related stories:
Rumour mill: T-Mobile UK for sale, or merged with 3UK
T-Mobile UK for sale at £3.2bn, suggest analysts
BT in partnership talks with T-Mobile UK and 3
T-Mobile results saved by G1 and mobile broadband

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