Sprint To Get Unwired

    July 11, 2005
    Chris Crum

The boards of directors of Sprint and US Unwired have approved an agreement in which Sprint will acquire US Unwired for about $1.3 billion.

Under the agreement, Sprint will purchase all of US Unwired’s outstanding common stock at $6.25 per share. Remaining US Unwired shares will be purchased in a cash merger at the same price.

Sprint To Get Unwired

Along with these shares, Sprint will also acquire US Unwired’s net debt. As of the end of March, the amount of that debt was nearly $266 million. It comes with the territory.

“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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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