AT&T’s BlackBerry Coup and 3 Telecom Titans Attracting Interest

  on March 06 2013 2:49 PM
AT&T logo in a New York store.
AT&T's logo seen in a New York store. REUTERS

AT&T (NYSE:T): In the U.S. market, those eager to purchase the slate-styled BlackBerry Z10 smartphone might need to direct their attention to AT&T, since the carrier is rumored to be the first to offer the device in the States. The BlackBerry Z10 is expected to arrive on three of four national carriers; Sprint announced that it would skip the Z10 to offer only the QWERTY-enabled BlackBerry Q10 for its LTE network.

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Verizon (NYSE:VZ): The company weighed a number of options concerning its relationship with Vodafone Group Plc and its joint ownership of Verizon Wireless, ranging from ending its wireless venture with the European company to a full merger with Vodafone, according to Bloomberg. The U.S. and UK mobile-phone operators discussed a full combination in December, reports Bloomberg, citing those familiar with the situation. The talks stalled in regards to issues of leadership and location of a new company, which indicates that a buyout or partial sale of Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless is more likely, according to the sources. Verizon Communications currently has a 55 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, and the rest is owned by Vodafone owns.

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Sprint (NYSE:S): Sprint Nextel has replaced a $2.2 billion revolving line of credit, expiring during October with a larger pact. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) arranged the new deal, which is set to mature in February 2018 and expands its borrowing capacity by $600 million, the company claimed today in a regulatory filing. Proceeds are to be used for general corporate purposes, claims Sprint Nextel. Under terms of the credit pact, the company’s debt to earnings is not allowed to exceed 6.25 times through June 30, 2014, reducing gradually to four times for the fiscal quarter that ends on December 31, 2016, and remaining at that level for its duration, according to the filing.

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MetroPCS Communications (NYSE:PCS): The company made an announcement that the DOJ allowed the waiting period to lapse on the planned merger between the two companies. This waiting period was required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, indicating that the DOJ does not see any objections to the merger. Furthermore, there are no other regulatory approvals that are required by the companies to get in order to close the deal. It is imperative that the Federal Communications Commission approve the transfer of spectrum licenses.

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