Inner electronic mail: T-Cell CEO John Legere says Dash merger didn’t meet ‘our excessive bar’

T-Cell CEO John Legere speaks at CES in January. (GeekWire Picture / Todd Bishop)

T-Cell isn’t settling.

That was the message from T-Cell CEO John Legere to his staff on Saturday after the Bellevue, Wash.-based wi-fi provider ended potential merger talks with Dash.

“This time round, we couldn’t discover an association that meets our excessive bar — and there’s no must accept something much less,” Legere wrote in an electronic mail to staff obtained by GeekWire.

T-Cell and Dash, the No. three and four U.S. wi-fi corporations behind Verizon and AT&T, have been speaking about merging, on and off, for a number of years. Dash’s father or mother SoftBank almost acquired T-Cell in 2014 however the deal fell by after U.S. regulators expressed issues.

Merger talks heated up once more over the previous few months and it appeared like an settlement was close to. However the deal reportedly hit a stumbling block final week due to a disagreement over possession of a mixed T-Cell/Dash entity. Reuters additionally reported final week that the Division of Justice probably opposed the deal.

Within the electronic mail to staff, Legere mentioned that he stays excited concerning the firm’s future regardless that the Dash deal shouldn’t be occurring. Right here’s the e-mail:

There are many rumors swirling round — some true and a few not. Right here’s what’s true – T-Cell has been speaking with Dash a few potential mixture of our corporations. Right this moment we ended these discussions.

We’re at all times partnership and progress alternatives to speed up our enterprise, however any deal we do has to ship unimaginable long-term worth to our firm. That’s no small feat as a result of we’ve got such a shiny future on our personal as a standalone enterprise. You’ve all labored so laborious to place T-Cell on this place of energy and have the choices that we’ve got. It’s unimaginable! This time round, we couldn’t discover an association that meets our excessive bar – and there’s no must accept something much less.

So, what’s subsequent? There’s a lot left to do! The Un-carrier mission stays the identical. I’ve by no means been extra enthusiastic about our future.

John Legere
T-Cell USA

In a press launch, Dash CEO Marcelo Claure mentioned the businesses agreed that “it’s best to maneuver ahead on our personal.”

Dash CEO Marcelo Claure.

“As convergence within the connectivity market continues, we consider vital alternatives exist to determine sturdy partnerships throughout a number of industries,” he mentioned in a press release. “We’re decided to proceed our efforts to vary the wi-fi business and compete fiercely. We sit up for persevering with to take the combat to the duopoly and newly rising opponents.”

For the reason that preliminary spherical of merger discussions, T-Cell has surged below Legere, passing Dash in 2015 to turn out to be the third largest U.S. wi-fi provider.

T-Cell final month mentioned it added one other 1.three million new prospects within the third quarter, its 18th straight interval with greater than 1 million internet buyer additions, bringing its complete to extra 70 million prospects. Income on the firm climbed eight p.c to $10 billion; income rose 50 p.c to $550 million.

Dash in the meantime has struggled in previous years; it posted a quarterly revenue in August for the primary time in three years however fell again into losses for the latest quarter.

Legere and Claure have developed a rivalry over the previous few years, with the 2 chief executives lobbing insults again and forth as the businesses jockeyed to be the primary challenger to AT&T and Verizon.

A mixed firm of T-Cell and Dash would high 130 million subscribers with a market capitalization of almost $90 billion.

Some Deutsche Telekom buyers need the corporate to promote T-Cell, which can face challenges if Dash companions with a U.S. cable firm, Reuters reported. However The Washington Put up additionally famous that Dash will now face a “harder highway forward because it should confront its years of neglecting its community infrastructure.”

Legere and Claure have been in Tokyo final week; it’s unclear precisely why, however Dash proprietor SoftBank relies in Japan. Axios reported that Claure, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges had dinner Friday evening in Tokyo.

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