(Reuters) - French low-cost telecom operator Iliad SA (ILD.PA) is gearing up to bid for a "significantly larger" stake in T-Mobile US Inc TMUS.N than it previously sought for in July, a Bloomberg report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Iliad, which had initially proposed buying a 56.6 percent stake in Deutsche Telekom AG's (DTEGn.DE) U.S. unit, is still prepared to offer about $33 for each T-Mobile share, the Bloomberg report said on Thursday. (bloom.bg/1ptJhzs)
Executives at Deutsche Telekom, which owns 66 percent of the fourth-largest U.S. carrier, feel that a minimum of $35 per share would be a fairer price for T-Mobile, the report cited two people as saying.
Sprint Corp (S.N), which in August dropped its bid to acquire T-Mobile, had agreed to pay $40 per share under the broad terms of an agreement worked out with Deutsche Telekom.
Iliad has set a mid-October deadline to decide whether to improve its bid or walk away, sources had told Reuters earlier in September.
Deutsche Telekom, which makes about a third of its sales and a fifth of core profits in the United States, has tried to sell T-Mobile twice since late 2011 because it sees it as too small to compete with market leaders Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and AT&T (T.N).
Iliad's spokeswoman declined to comment. T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom could not be reached immediately for comment.
T-Mobile's shares closed up 2.5 percent at $28.80 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bangalore and Maya Nikolaeva in Paris; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila