T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) CEO John Legere dismissed all of the rumors surrounding the carrier's potential M&A activity as "craziness" and said T-Mobile would continue to try to grow organically.
Speaking at the GeekWire Summit late last week, Legere said he is "sick and tired" of the takeover and merger rumors. "We have been subject to this, we will be subject to this for the foreseeable future, and I can give you a list this long of who would salivate to find something with T-Mobile," he said.
In his usual brash and profanity-laced style, Legere touched on M&A activity, T-Mobile's growth prospects and the "bendgate" controversy surrounding Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 6 Plus phablet.
In late July, Iliad made its initial $15 billion bid for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile, valuing the carrier at $33 per share, which T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom said was too low. According to a recent Bloomberg report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Iliad now plans to price its offer at $33 per share but it will be for a "significantly larger" stake in T-Mobile. Iliad, controlled by billionaire entrepreneur Xavier Niel, has reportedly set a deadline of mid-October to either make an improved offer to take control of T-Mobile or abandon its pursuit.
Legere, who has taken shots at executives from AT&T (NYSE: T) and Sprint (NYSE: S), trained his fire on Iliad and Niel. "I can tell you everything you need to know about Iliad," Legere said. "The owner is wealthy, he's got long hair, he made his money in porn and his wife is the heir to Louis Vuitton money."
Iliad declined to comment on Legere's remarks, according to Bloomberg.
Legere said he is focused on keeping the company's strong subscriber growth going, and that his employees are still trying to recover from AT&T's failed $39 billion bid in 2011. "My strategy has been to continue to grow, and focus on what we're doing," he said. "I don't want my employees getting their heads on sideways--they still have PTSD from when AT&T tried to buy them. I appreciate the $5 billion that they gave me, which I then used to invest in our network to now beat them. Which is really, it's a tough strategy to execute, but, you know, it works."
Legere said most acquisitions in the wireless industry have been centered on deals in which a larger company acquires a struggling company and gets their spectrum. "What's happening with T-Mobile now, is it's a brand. There's something that's really strong that's going on."
Legere noted that in the last five quarters T-Mobile has added around 7.6 million net new wireless customers, and that the company's network and customer service are performing well. "So yes, we can be a very profitable, growing company," he said. However, he noted that in the long term T-Mobile would need more scale--something it could have gotten from a merger with Sprint. Those deal talks were scuttled this summer amid intensifying opposition from regulators.
"The trick, though, is that it's a scale industry," Legere said. "And I was always clear: yeah, if you had thought about putting Sprint and T-Mobile together, you'd have immediate scale. It would be something good. You know, as long as you called it T-Mobile and I ran it, it would be successful."
Legere also said the controversy that the controversy surrounding a small number of customers who had their new iPhones bend in their pockets after sitting on them is "such horses—t."
"This is an amazing supercomputer in your hand," Legere said. "What the f– are you putting it in your pants and sitting on it for? Seriously. You know what, those nine people that sat on their phones, first of all, they need jeans that fit them a little better."
He added: "Let me help you about bendgate or whatever it was. It's not slowing down demand. The demand for these devices in the last few weeks is unbelievable."
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