T-Mobile CEO “Sick And Tired” Of Takeover Talk

T-Mobile's John Legere is sick of everyone lusting after his wireless business.

T-Mobile’s John Legere is sick of everyone lusting after his wireless business.

T-Mobile has long been considered a juicy, low-hanging magenta fruit that some bigger company could pick off and devour. But after years of being wooed by suitors from the Death Star, Japan, and France, T-Mobile CEO John Legere says it’s time to stop talking about his company being acquired by someone else.

FierceWireless reports that Legere said he is “sick and tired” of the takeover rumors during a recent GeekWire summit.

“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,” said the leather-lovin’ smack-talkin’ CEO.

That long list includes AT&T, who tried to acquire T-Mobile in 2011 but failed when regulators made it clear they wouldn’t sign off on the deal. T-Mobile got around $5 billion in cash and wireless spectrum out of the failed merger, which has helped the company roll out an LTE network that actually competes with its much-larger competitors.

More recently, Sprint — egged by its parent company, Japan’s SoftBank — pondered a T-Mobile grab earlier this year. But just like the AT&T deal, there was little chance of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger ever being approved by the FCC or the Justice Dept., so Sprint gave up on the idea and kicked CEO Dan Hesse out of the framily.

French company Iliad has been trying to lure T-Mobile in, but has so far only offered a fraction of what T-Mobile is believed to be worth to a potential merger partner. See, while it might be romantic in the movies to be wooed by some handsome French suitor living by candlelight in a Parisian squat and surviving on stolen baguettes and wine, that bottom-dollar business doesn’t fly in the wireless world.

“I can tell you everything you need to know about Iliad,” Legere said last week. “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.”

Then there are rumors that Dish, watching its rival DirecTV having a good old time making wedding plans with AT&T, is considering a deal to acquire T-Mobile, but so far that’s not gone past the rumor stage.

Legere said his focus is on growing T-Mobile, but not by being acquired.

“I don’t want my employees getting their heads on sideways,” he explained. “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.”

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