T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) parent Deutsche Telekom, which is reportedly in talks with Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) about Dish buying T-Mobile, is also talking to Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) about a possible deal, according to a report from German publication Manager Magazin.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said that DT has not decided on which path to take and is in talks with several parties, but that Comcast is considered to be a more attractive partner because it is financially stronger and could handle a complete financial takeover of T-Mobile. DT still holds 66 percent of the shares of T-Mobile.
DT declined to comment, according to the report. Comcast also declined to comment.
However, a source familiar with Comcast's thinking told FierceWireless that the Manager Magazin report was not true.
Comcast abandoned a $45.2 billion bid for Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) amid regulatory opposition. Comcast has the option of launching a wireless MVNO service using Verizon Wireless' (NYSE: VZ) network, but has not taken advantage of that option. Comcast does have a network of around 8 million Wi-Fi hotspots that it could potentially leverage in a wireless play.
Dish is reportedly in talks with banks to line up between $10 billion and $15 billion of debt financing for the cash portion of a transaction to acquire T-Mobile. According to The Wall Street Journal, Dish and T-Mobile are talking about a deal mostly in stock that would leave Deutsche Telekom with a minority stake in the combined company.
Some analysts think a T-Mobile/Comcast deal would make financial sense for the two companies. "Based on recent meetings our colleagues have held with DT [management], we believe that DT is more sold on the synergies created by fixed mobile convergence than by an improved mid-band spectrum position," Macquarie Capital analyst Kevin Smithen wrote in a research note. "As such, we believe DT could retain a larger equity stake in Comcast or Newco than it would with Dish. As DT holds the cards with T-Mo, we think a deal with Comcast in the low to mid $40s, with a large stock component would be palatable for DT."
- see this Manager Magazin article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Reuters article
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