Sol Trujillo’s back: Former Telstra boss trying to launch $US39 billion private equity bid for telco

Former Telstra boss Sol Trujillo is trying to launch a private equity takeover bid for Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA business, according to reports.

Bloomberg reports Trujillo has already unsuccessfully pitched the idea of a leveraged private equity takeover of T-Mobile USA, the fourth largest mobile carrier in the US, to both KKR and Blackstone group.

Last year, AT&T attempted a $US39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA, but was blocked by regulators due to competition concerns.

There are also reports Trujillo may have sought private equity interest in a takeover of third-placed mobile carrier Sprint Nextel during talks.

Trujillo served as chief executive of Telstra from 2005 to 2009, prior to current CEO David Thodey taking the helm, leaving behind a “mixed legacy”, according to experts.

During his time as CEO, Trujillo led the company through a major IT transformation, as well as the introduction of the Next G mobile phone network and NextIP IP data network.

However, constant battles with the Federal Government under former prime ministers John Howard and Kevin Rudd led to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy locking Telstra out of negotiations to build the National Broadband Network, leading analysts such as Alan Kohler to suggest Trujillo should be sued by shareholders.

Staff morale and industrial relations practices at the company were also criticised in an ABC Four Corners report on the company in 2007.


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