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Alltel Begins Serious Discussions For A Sale

Article Comments  69  

May 9, 2007, 1:22 PM   by (staff)

At least three pairs of private equity groups have put in bids for Alltel according to sources. Alltel revealed it was considering a sale in February and since then has been courting offers. No carriers have yet expressed an interested in buying the regional carrier, which is valued somewhere between 25 to 30 billion dollars. If one of the equity partnerships purchases Alltel, it is unlikely subscribers will notice any immediate changes. However it is likely they would only buy the carrier to hold it until a larger company is prepared to buy it.

more info at Reuters »
more info at Information Week »

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Comments

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This forum is closed.

Jonathanlc2005

May 10, 2007, 3:40 PM

how sprint could do this

we all know sprint has merger problems but sprint would have to force migrate every nextel customer to hybrids and do all CDMA calling if it was possible. what do you think?

then we would see dual band/iden hybrid phones!!!
They do not have to force anyone to the CDMA platform, but they would like to. By offering the dual mode devices and the Qchat sooner than later it will not force anyone but offer the customers choices if they would like to continue to use the PTT fun...
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jskrenes

May 10, 2007, 10:24 AM

What about monopolies?

Here in South Dakota, Verizon and Alltel are the two primary rural carriers. If VZW bought Alltel, they'd have to sell off the towers, customers, plans, etc, from Alltel, probably to US Cellular. I wonder how many other states this would happen to, and if VZW had to jump through all those hoops, what percentage of Alltel would actually be left for them to own. I just don't think Verizon is going to pull the trigger.
Well then, there would be divestitures if they would be over the spectrum cap and market share cap. That is also a great point to rise because the divestitures would be in the billions of dollars so the economics needs to be there to allow the synergi...
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Well said. I know North Dakota is in the boat with you, and so is a good portion of Montana. There were also divestitures from the Western Wireless/Midwest Wireless mergers as well, so it's pretty safe to assume those markets would be automatic dive...
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Please correct me if I am wrong. I too am from SD and I remember hearing that Alltel purchased Midwest Wireless in MN over the past year. If that is true then western MN would be all Alltel considering they acquired Cellular One last year and that was...
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If a major carrier made a bid on alltel Verizon would have no choice but go all in. Alltel makes up about 25% of VZW's network! Surprised Most markets are not covered by both comapaines. I am in Ohio and Alltel comtrols all of eastern/southern ohio. This al...
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AshDizzle

May 10, 2007, 4:33 AM

What makes you think a carrier will buy?

I've heard and think it would be much more likely that a cable company would make this purchase, like Comcast.

If Qwest were smart they would try and move in for this one too. Lots of CDMA and spectrum for growth, and they could sell off towers and spectrum from the Alltel GSM network to T-Mobile and AT&T for GSM/UMTS expansion to cover the costs of the $30 billion purchase.

Qwest needs to make a bold move soon or they are going to get eaten up.
Doubtful, since Comcast sold it's mobile communications to Cingular several years ago. Why would they want to get back into it? They need to maintain viable alternatives to FiOS from Verizon.
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Quest does not have the resources to fund such a takeover as they have a lot of debt plus they are not growing that much. I actually think companies should wait until Q goes chapter 11 and then pay $.10 on the dollar.

Why a carrier would buy? Simp...
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vytaL

May 9, 2007, 1:36 PM

Sounds like Alltel is trying to push stock up again?

Doesn't Alltel do this once or twice a year for the last couple years?
Yes. Now you're on to us, which means...well, nothing. Razz Wink Laughing
Hey, since I am a shareholder, they should be pushing it higher, but nonetheless, there were several times of talks that did not work out, perhaps this time it will. I actually hope GS takes over because they do a great job, and I own shares in them.
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Maybe, but unless they plan to sell some of their own holdings, there really isn't a point to driving up the price per share.
phlanges

May 10, 2007, 9:30 PM

Vodafone?

Any chance Vodafone would purchase Alltel?
Not likely.
they are not going to invest in another company that doesnt deploy gsm or wcdma period.
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Cell Phones

May 10, 2007, 6:11 AM

Verizon Will Probably Win the Bid. There the Most Reliable Remember?

Verizon Will Probably Win the Bid. We all just have to get use to it. Cool Alltel might not want to admit it to everyone, but since Verizon hasn't had any issues with mergers, unlike Sprint/Nextel and AT&T/Cingular, they're going to be more interested in selling to Verizon. Keep it up VZW, it'll be all yours hopefully!!! Cool
Cell Phones said:
Verizon Will Probably Win the Bid. We all just have to get use to it. Cool Alltel might not want to admit it to everyone, but since Verizon hasn't had any issues with mergers, unlike Sprint/Nextel and AT&T/Cingular,
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It’s very difficult for Verizon to actually bid for Alltel because remember they still are paying a lot of capex for FIOS but more importantly is that they want to buy out the 45% stake that Voda has in VZW which is worth probably north of $50B espe...
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Remember all Verizon's billing errors after the initial "Verizon" merge with Bell Atlantic, Vodafone AirTouch, GTE Mobile Net, and PrimeCo Communications? I sure do.

I remember all my minutes being charged roaming rates in my home area! Of cour...
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GIREVIKS

May 10, 2007, 8:46 PM

Its gonna be messy!

If Verizon or ATT buy out alltel its going to be a mess because both companies would have to divest parts of Alltels network where Verizon or ATT already have 850mhz networks. The FCC wont allow a carrier to have both Cellular A and B blocks in the same market. Here in AZ if Verizon bought Alltel they would have to sell most of the spectrum off because in Arizona VZ and Alltels licenses pretty much overlap. Alltel operates so much roaming coverage for both GSM and CDMA carriers I just dont know what a buyout would do to affect Verizons or ATTs roaming coverage if one of them controlled it. I would much rather see Alltel remain a seperate wireless carrier than merge because Alltel helps keep the big boys in check somewhat.
Actually, you can have the A and B cellular bands in a single market. Cingular had, I believe it was B, in eastern Florida, and AT&T Wireless had A pretty much throughout the state. Cingular was not required to divest in Florida, and so it has A and...
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mw717

May 10, 2007, 11:15 AM

Great, now they're going to suck like verizon does

I appriciate Alltel because they don't lock my phone to charge me for everything, their customer service is great and the coverage is the best in my area.
You must be kidding me! Eh? I had a family share plan with Alltel and they used to charge us for everything. The bill would go up and down so much, unlike Verizon who just keeps my bill at a level price with way more features on the plan. Anyway you'...
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rmtp22

May 9, 2007, 4:35 PM

Sprint can't afford it

Alltel had the best fourth quarter out of any wireless phone company. In fact until recently, Alltel was the only wireless company that was debt free. Sprint is in so much money trouble as it is. They have a better chance of going under than to make this big of a purchase. Alltel said that they would not sell to Verizon, since they are Alltel biggest competitor. Alltel is the most profitable out of the big 5. So is 30 billion asking to much from Sprint? Considering their debt.
Actually, in this industry Verizon or Sprint truly can’t afford this $30B purchase however there would be a lot of debt being issued or stock being offered as a secondary offering to help pay for it. Regardless, if a company truly wants a company li...
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rmtp22 said:
Alltel had the best fourth quarter out of any wireless phone company.

No, they really didn't. In the 4th quarter, Verizon net added 2.3 million customers and ATT net added 2.4 mil. Alltel net added nowhe...
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nswint

May 9, 2007, 2:34 PM

VZW moves in for the kill

If Sprint were smart they would try to acquire them at all costs, however Verizon will win.
Where do you people get this crap about Verizon? Verizon has stated from the get-go that they're not interested. Laughing Rolling Eyes
Verizon would not win in any battle especially with the massive rollouts with FIOS as well as the potential $50B+ for Voda’s stake in VZW. If Sprint sees that the cost, around $30B, would be good and there would be a lot of synergies to offset some ...
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Verizon is a piece of crap compared to Alltel
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It is probably one of Scott Fords golfing buddies.

Pros: Nothing Changes, and Stock goes through the roof.

Cons: Alltel is still only the 5th largest carrier.
Talkabout-Allen

May 10, 2007, 9:59 AM

I think........

I got news yesterday from a reliable source, that Alltel will be sold to a private investor. Every Alltel stock holder in America is smiling this morning!
SystemShock

May 10, 2007, 1:48 AM

I Wish Alltel and US Cellular Would Merge...

Personally, I think it'd be kinda boring if Alltel got bought out by one of the Big Three... though frankly, I get the feeling that won't happen anytime soon.

The last thing in the UNIVERSE Sprint needs right now is another merger, what with the Nextel thang blowing up in their face right proper.

ATT is only just now starting to get it together from its Cingular-ATTW merger of 2 1/2 years ago... do they really want to go through that again so soon, especially considering that Alltel is incompatible technologically, a la the Sprint-Nextel merger?

And I guess Verizon has its hands full getting fiber to the home and potentially trying to buy out Vodaphone's stake.

Who does that leave... T-mobile? Incompatible technologically, and...
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