NEW YORK – T-Mobile USA, the country's fourth-largest cellphone carrier, has completed its acquisition of smaller rival MetroPCS.
T-Mobile is adding 9 million MetroPCS customers to its own 34 million. The combined company will still lag No. 3 Sprint Nextel Corp. in size.
No immediate changes are expected for customers of either company. However, T-Mobile plans to shut down MetroPCS's network over two years, which means MetroPCS phones will eventually stop working. T-Mobile will use the space freed up on the airwaves to boost its own coverage and data speeds.
T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, will gain its own U.S. stock listing by merging with Dallas-based MetroPCS Communications Inc.
The combined company will be called T-Mobile US Inc. and will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday under the ticker symbol "TMUS."
Under terms of the deal, MetroPCS shareholders are getting $4.08 per share in cash, or $1.5 billion. They're also getting half a share of the new company for each MetroPCS share, resulting in a 26 percent ownership stake.
The rest will be owned by Deutsche Telekom.
MetroPCS's board agreed to sell to T-Mobile in October, but shareholders and shareholder advisory firms called the offer inadequate. T-Mobile improved its bid three weeks ago by reducing the amount of debt it would transfer to the new company and reducing the interest rate on the debt. The improved offer won shareholder approval last week.
The combined company's President and CEO is John Legere. Former MetroPCS Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer J. Braxton Carter will serve as CFO.
It will have 11 board members, including two of MetroPCS' existing directors. Deutsche Telekom Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer Tim Höttges will serve as chairman. The combined company will be based in Bellevue, Wash., and keep a significant presence in Richardson, Texas.