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Sprint Takes On US Unwired Shares As Well as Debt

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Sprint is acquiring US Unwired for nearly $1.3 billion. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors for both companies.

“This acquisition would bring an end to a long partnership with the management and shareholders of US Unwired,” said Sprint chairman and CEO Gary Forsee. “We appreciate their efforts over the years to grow the Sprint business in its assigned territories. While we decided to acquire a direct ownership interest in these assets, we continue to value our relationship with other affiliates providing Sprint services.”

In the acquisition, Sprint will get all outstanding common stock of US Unwired for $6.25 per share, and will get the remaining shares of the company in a cash merger at the same price.

Sprint Takes On US Unwired Shares As Well as Debt

Sprint must take the good with the bad, however. Sprint will inherit US Unwired’s net debt, which at the end of March amounted to approximately $266 million.

According to a press release, shareholders with approximately 27.3% of the outstanding common shares of US Unwired have agreed to tender their shares pursuant to the tender offer and to vote their shares in favor of the merger.

“Since US Unwired’s inception, our employees have demonstrated their commitment to building substantial shareholder value,” said US Unwired President and CEO Robert Piper.

“We began our Sprint relationship with a handful of customers and a service territory of 1.8 million residents,” added Piper. “Through the effort of our personnel, our network now covers 8.1 million people and serves more than a half-million subscribers. We are pleased to have this opportunity to realize continued value for our shareholders.”

US Unwired has requested an injunction to block the merger of Sprint and Nextel Communications, with a final resolution to become effective as the deal closes.

The deal is expected to reach completion sometime in the third quarter of this year. It is still subject to customary regulatory approvals before it is closed.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Sprint Takes On US Unwired Shares As Well as Debt
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