OK. $28.1 Billion. Can You Hear Me Now? Good.
So much for last year’s $27.5 billion privatization of Alltel …
Verizon Communications (VZ) will acquire Alltel, the nation’s fifth largest wireless-phone company, for $28.1 billion. Assuming the deal passes antitrust scrutiny, it will create a monstrosity of a wireless carrier with about 80 million subscribers–9 million more than AT&T (T), the nation’s largest cellphone company.
A savvy move for Verizon, which has clearly overcome whatever jitters caused it to sit out the Alltel auction in the spring of 2007. “Put simply, they can run Alltel more efficiently than Alltel can,” said Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett. “It takes a strong wireless franchise, and increases Verizon’s exposure to wireless, which is the best business in their portfolio. It lets them exercise their advantages of scale to run the business.”