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Nextel- Sprint to merge.

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  • Nextel- Sprint to merge.

    PHILADELPHIA/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Corp. is close to an agreement to buy Nextel Communications Inc. for about $35 billion in a mostly stock deal that would combine the No. 3 and No. 5 U.S. wireless telephone companies, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

    A Sprint-Nextel merger would face some expensive technology hurdles as their networks use incompatible wireless systems, analysts said. Still, the companies would benefit by gaining more wireless spectrum to transmit calls and a more diverse customer base.

    Nextel caters to high-paying corporate customers with its walkie-talkie-type telephones, while Sprint targets mass-market customers such as families and teenagers.

    "We believe that a potential combination of Sprint and Nextel would make sense on a number of measures, including spectrum position, network technology upgrade path and the complementary nature of the two customer bases," said Merrill Lynch analyst James Moynihan.

    The companies, which have held talks over the past year, renewed negotiations in recent days for a merger that would create a wireless giant with about 39 million customers to rival industry leaders Cingular Wireless and Verizon Wireless.

    The companies aim to forge an agreement by the middle of next week, although negotiations could still break down, sources said.

    Sprint Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Forsee would be chief executive of the combined company, while Nextel Chief Executive Tim Donahue would be executive chairman.

    The board of directors would be evenly split between the two companies, the sources said.

    Under the terms being considered, Sprint (NYSE:FON - news) aims to pay 1.3 shares of Sprint stock for each share of Nextel (Nasdaq:NXTL - news), the sources said.

    Based on current stock prices, that would value Nextel at about $35 billion, or $31.38 a share. That price includes a small component that gives Sprint slightly larger ownership in the company for tax purposes, sources said.

    As part of a deal, Sprint would spin off its 18-state local telephone business through a tax-free dividend to shareholders, sources said. The local business would operate as a new publicly traded company.

    Sprint's long-distance telephone and data services would remain part of the company and merge with Nextel, sources said. That would allow the companies to sell packages of long-distance, wireless and Internet services to customers.

    The combined company may keep both the Nextel and Sprint brand names, the sources said.

    MERGER TO RAISE PRICES?

    A merger would continue the long-awaited consolidation in the fiercely competitive U.S. wireless industry.

    Market leader Cingular Wireless, a joint venture of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC - news) and BellSouth Corp. (NYSE:BLS - news), kicked off the year with a bidding war for AT&T Wireless Services Inc., which it bought for $41 billion.

    But there are still five large national mobile phone companies -- Deutsche Telekom AG's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile USA is No. 4 -- as well as several regional players.

    "We believe consolidation in wireless may ultimately increase levels of competition in the sector, which is good for consumers, regulators and providing scale to a third competitor," said Michael Bowen, an analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co.

    But consumer activists say shrinking the number of national wireless service companies can only hurt consumers.

    "We've seen in recent years that consumers are getting better and better deals," said Susanna Montezemolo, a policy analyst for Consumers Union, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.

    If regulators approve a Sprint-Nextel merger, "those great deals that consumers have come to expect and the ever-better packages will be a thing of the past," Montezemolo said.

    The New York Times reported that Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ - news) and Britain's Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L), might be interested in making a bid for Sprint.

    Yet sources familiar with the situation told Reuters such a possibility was slim.

    Verizon Wireless had previously looked at the assets of both Sprint and Nextel and decided not to make an offer for either, they said.

    Verizon Wireless declined to comment.

    Shares of Nextel closed at $29.76, down 5 cents, on Nasdaq. Shares of Sprint, the most actively traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites), shed 14 cents to close at $24.14.

    (Additional reporting by Sinead Carew and Dan Wilchins in New York, and Justin Hyde in Washington)
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  • #2
    Oh great. Nextel's next step in their quest for world domination. With any luck, the company will be obliterated by an errant asteroid before this merger takes place. I pitty Sprint, at least they had some shred of eithics.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

    Comment


    • #3
      nmfire, I believe it is Sprint that would be buying Nextel, not the other way around.

      I read a news article somewhere that eventually Nextel customers would be turning in their phones for Sprint ones. Bad news for Motorola.
      FTM-PTB-DTRT

      Comment


      • #4
        I would hope that Sprint would stick with the Nextel technology for the two-way. I don't know how well Sprint's two-way feature is, but I know Alltell's sucks compared to Nextel.
        The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
        We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
        IACOJ

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by firenresq77
          I don't know how well Sprint's two-way feature is, but I know Alltell's sucks compared to Nextel.
          I'll second that........

          Comment


          • #6
            I know it is Sprint buying CrapTel, but it will still be like poluting Sprint with NexTel big-wigs... AND it will make NexTel and it's mornic management part of an even bigger company.

            Sprint has PTT service. It is definately comparable to NexTel as far as speed and the audio quality is about 100x better, not that it would take much.
            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by firenresq77
              I would hope that Sprint would stick with the Nextel technology for the two-way. I don't know how well Sprint's two-way feature is, but I know Alltell's sucks compared to Nextel.
              I don't think the Motorola/Nextel iDEN PTT will work with regular CDMA cell phones. If it did, they wouldn't have their own system that doesn't work with any of the other cell companies.

              I have found that Sprint's PTT works just as well as Nextel's and I never have to worry about my phone not having service somewhere.

              There's some more interesting articles posted on Radio Reference.com
              FTM-PTB-DTRT

              Comment


              • #8
                Now this is going to confuse the H#LL out of the NASCAR announcers. They were just getting used to Nextel cup, and now it will be having to remember Sprint cup!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  If the announcers of the left turn circuit can change from a cigarette company to a phone company, then changing from phone comany to phone company shouldn't stress them too much!

                  But ya never know!
                  Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

                  "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What concerns me more than anything about this BS is I wouldn't put it past NexTel to use this as a loop hole to not have to pay for the 800Mhz rebanding that they agreed to with the FCC. It will all get dumped back on us and they will give another couple hundred million to the race cars.
                    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Watch The News..................

                      There is a lot of speculation out there about buyouts, mergers, selloffs, and other moves in the Wireless Industry. Personal opinion, I don't think there are enough idiots among Nextel's stockholders that this thing could get by. The stockholders of any corporation must approve any type of merger or acquisition, and the numbers don't make sense for Nextel. Before anyone asks, I have Nextel equipment, as do almost all of our members, and we use it a lot. Only problem, which is slowly improving, is some dead spots. I expect to continue as a Nextel customer for a long time.
                      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                      In memory of
                      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                      IACOJ Budget Analyst

                      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                      www.gdvfd18.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My only concern is that the "Sprint-Nextel Cup" sounds stupid.
                        Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
                        -Big Russ

                        Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

                        Originally posted by nyckftbl
                        LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, but imagine being able to trademark the phrase, "Sprint to the Finish..."
                          IACOJ Canine Officer
                          20/50

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Been That, Done There.................

                            Originally posted by Dalmatian90
                            Yeah, but imagine being able to trademark the phrase, "Sprint to the Finish..."
                            I just did. Today.
                            Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                            In memory of
                            Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                            Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                            IACOJ Budget Analyst

                            I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                            www.gdvfd18.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Oh yeah?

                              Originally posted by firenresq77
                              I would hope that Sprint would stick with the Nextel technology for the two-way.
                              Well I hope that an alligator eats Mini-Me.

                              Comment

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