T-Mobile is still considered one of the for major wireless carriers in the U.S., but it still has a lot of ground to make up if it hopes to catch up to AT&T and Verizon. The failed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T proved to actually be a $4 billion windfall for T-Mobile, and it used its newfound billions to begin upgrading its services. While its 4G LTE network is far behind its competitors' networks, it, along with Sprint, now offer unlimited data plans as a means to compete with AT&T's and Verizon's expensive new shared plans.
Today, T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS Communications announced that they have signed an agreement to combine T-Mobile and MetroPCS. The new company will retain the T-Mobile name and branding. The combined company will have an estimated 42.5 million subscribers, pulling T-Mobile closer to Sprint's subscriber numbers, but still leaving it as the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S.
The agreement is structured as a recapitalization. MetroPCS will declare a 1 for 2 reverse stock split and make a cash payment of $1.5 billion to its shareholders, or about $4.09 per share before the reverse split. MetroPCS will then issue Deutsche Telekom 74% of its common stock, pro forma.
T-Mobile estimates the combined company will take in around $24.8 billion in revenue in 2012. It also estimated it would bring in $6.3 billion in adjusted earnings, have $4.2 billion in capital expenditures, and have $2.1 billion of free cash flow in 2012.
“We are extremely pleased to announce this transaction with MetroPCS, which enhances Deutsche Telekom’s position in the expanding U.S. wireless market,” said René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. “The T-Mobile and MetroPCS brands are a great strategic fit - both operationally and culturally. The new company will be the value leader in wireless with the scale, spectrum, and financial and other resources to expand its geographic coverage, broaden choice among all types of customers and continue to innovate, especially around the next-generation LTE network. We are committed to creating a sustainable and financially viable national challenger in the U.S., and we believe this combination helps us deliver on that commitment.”