By Soyoung Kim and Leila Abboud PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) - French telecommunications company Iliad SA ILD.PA has made a surprise offer for T-Mobile US Inc TMUS.N, setting up a potential bidding war with Sprint Corp S.N, the U.S. mobile carrier now controlled by Japan's Softbank Corp 9984.T. The approach will further shake up a U.S. media and telecoms market already in tumult as a series of U.S. cable and cellular operators have bid for rivals to cut costs amid slowing growth. The market and its relatively healthy margins remain alluring to some foreign operators like Softbank and Iliad, however. Iliad, which has shaken up the French mobile and broadband market in the past decade with its cheap, pared-down subscriber plans, bid $15 billion in cash for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile US at $33 per share, it said in a statement on Thursday. The Paris-based company said its offer for the fourth-largest U.S. carrier values all of T-Mobile at $36.20 per share, a premium of 42 percent to the pre-announcement share price, once expected cost savings of $10 billion were taken into account.
By Sarah Marsh and Richard Lough BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's bond and stock markets and peso currency dropped on Thursday after Latin America's No. 3 economy defaulted for the second time in 12 years following the collapse of last-ditch talks with holdout creditors. The default came after Argentina failed to strike a deal with lead holdout investors NML Capital Ltd, an affiliate of Elliott Management Corp and Aurelius Capital Management, in time for a midnight Wednesday EDT (0400 GMT) payment deadline. "Those who expect us to sign any old thing, threatening us that the world will come to an end otherwise, should not count on me," Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said in her first comments since the default. The government maintains it has not defaulted because it made a required interest payment on one of its bonds due 2033, but U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan blocked that deposit in June, saying it violated his ruling.