Archive for Friday, April 21, 2006

Sprint purchases affiliate for $1B

April 21, 2006

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— Sprint Nextel Corp. has agreed to acquire UbiquiTel Inc. for $1 billion, continuing a campaign of buying up regional affiliates that have sued over last year's merger between Sprint and Nextel.

Conshohocken, Pa.-based UbiquiTel provides wireless service under the Sprint brand name to 452,000 subscribers in medium-sized cities in California, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

UbiquiTel, which employs about 425 people, had revenues of $423 million for the year ending Dec. 31. It wasn't immediately clear if there would be any job losses.

Apart from its direct subscribers, UbiquiTel provides service to 151,000 wholesale subscribers under other brand names, like Qwest and Virgin Mobile.

Sprint Nextel, based in Reston, Va., will acquire UbiquiTel's shares for $10.35 each in cash in the deal, which is expected to close by June. The shares rose 14 cents to $10.33 in trading Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Under the agreement, Sprint Nextel would also assume $300 million in debt.

Shares of Sprint Nextel fell 30 cents to $25.35 in trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal is subject to the approval of regulators and UbiquiTel shareholders.

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