Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.
Sprint and Nextel boards approve merger
December 15, 2004
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and RESTON, Va. -- Sprint (NYSE: FON) and Nextel Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTL) today announced that their boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive agreement for a merger of equals. The combination will create America’s premier communications company -- a leading wireless carrier augmented by a global IP network that will offer consumer, business and government customers compelling new broadband wireless and integrated communications services. The new company, which will be called Sprint Nextel, also intends to spin off to its shareholders Sprint’s local telecommunications business following the merger.
Sprint and Nextel currently have a combined total equity value of approximately $70 billion and serve more than 35 million wireless subscribers on their networks and 5 million additional subscribers through affiliates and partners. The two companies, along with their affiliates and partners, operate networks that directly cover nearly 262 million people, more of the U.S. population than any other carrier.
The new company will have a balanced mix of consumer, business and government customers, as well as a strong spectrum position. Sprint Nextel will be well positioned in the fastest-growing areas of the telecommunications industry, including mobile data and push-to-talk services, where Sprint and Nextel are innovators in technology. With Sprint’s global Internet network, the new company will be positioned to provide differentiated communications solutions through integrated applications for business and government and new broadband wireless services for consumers.
Sprint Nextel is expected to have the highest average revenue per user (ARPU) in the wireless industry and to be positioned to lead the industry in sustainable revenue growth. Total pro forma revenues for the four quarters ended September 30 for Sprint Nextel were approximately $40 billion, which includes approximately $6 billion in revenues generated by the local telecommunications business.
Sprint and Nextel are being valued equally in the merger and their shareholders will each own approximately 50 percent of the new company after the merger. Existing Sprint shares will remain outstanding and each Nextel common share will be converted into new company shares and a small per share amount of cash, with a total value equal to 1.3 shares of Sprint Nextel common stock. The exact stock/cash allocation will be determined at closing of the merger in order to facilitate the spin-off of the local telecommunications business on a tax-free basis. The aggregate amount of the cash payment will not exceed $2.8 billion. If the stock/cash allocation was calculated today, it is estimated that Nextel shareholders would receive about 1.28 Sprint Nextel shares and about $0.50 in cash for each Nextel share.
A highly experienced management team will lead the new company. Gary D. Forsee, currently chairman and chief executive officer of Sprint, will become president and chief executive officer of Sprint Nextel. Timothy M. Donahue, currently president and chief executive officer of Nextel, will become chairman of the new company. Together they have a proven track record of leadership and nearly six decades of industry experience. Len Lauer, currently president and chief operating officer of Sprint, will serve as chief operating officer of the new company, and Paul Saleh, currently Nextel’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, will serve as chief financial officer of Sprint Nextel. Tom Kelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Nextel, will become the new company’s chief strategy officer. Barry J. West, Nextel’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, will serve as its chief technology officer. Leading the transition teams and serving as co-chief transition officers will be Steve Nielsen, senior vice president – finance at Sprint, and Richard Orchard, Nextel’s senior vice president and chief service officer.
The Sprint Nextel Board will consist of 12 directors, six from each company, including two co-lead independent directors, one from Sprint and one from Nextel.
Sprint Nextel will have its executive headquarters in Reston, Va., and its operational headquarters in Overland Park, Kan. The new company’s common stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2005 and is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, as well as other customary closing conditions.
“This merger positions Sprint Nextel for greater success than either company could have achieved alone,” said Gary Forsee. “The combination of Sprint and Nextel builds strength on strength. It will be a dynamic next-generation communications company, the provider of choice for businesses, government and consumers, and the only U.S. primarily wireless investment opportunity. Nextel is recognized as a leader in profitability, customer loyalty, revenue per customer, push to talk and marketing to businesses and government. Sprint excels in the consumer business and in providing advanced wireless data services and global IP voice and data networks. Together, we will be positioned to provide the high-value, integrated communications solutions customers increasingly demand.”
“We are confident that Sprint Nextel will generate efficiencies that will benefit customers, shareholders and employees. The new company will capitalize on its leadership position in key growth areas, unmatched asset mix, clear technology migration path, brand strength, innovative products and services and talented employees,” said Tim Donahue. “We share compatible cultures built on traditions of innovation and competitiveness. We will have the resources to develop and deploy compelling, differentiated services by unleashing the combined strengths of the two companies, each of which is recognized as a product and network innovator. This is a pro-competitive combination that will provide customer choice and create exciting new opportunities for all of our constituencies.”
Nextel Communications Inc.
You May Also Like
Rethinking AIOPs — It's All About the DataMar 12, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Fiddling with Fixed WirelessMar 21, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Cable and 5G: The Odd Couple?Apr 18, 2024
SCTE® LiveLearning for Professionals Webinar™ Series: Delivering the DAA DifferenceMay 16, 2024