Sprint Nextel to buy Nextel Partners

Sprint Nextel will acquire Nextel Partners for about US$6.5 billion, the companies announced Tuesday.

Sprint Nextel will acquire Nextel Partners in a deal valued at about US$6.5 billion, the companies announced Tuesday.

Nextel Partners in Washington, was an affiliate of Nextel Communications, the U.S. mobile operator that Sprint acquired earlier this year to form Sprint Nextel. It provides services in small and mid-sized markets in the U.S. while using Nextel's switching centers, back-office systems and marketing. Nextel had an ownership stake in Nextel Partners.

Sprint Nextel will pay US$28.50 per share for Nextel Partners, the average of the fair market value figures determined by investment banks Morgan Stanley and Lazard Freres & Co., according to a statement by Sprint Nextel and Nextel Partners. The deal requires approval by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Federal Communications Commission and is expected to close before the end of 2006's second quarter. The price is final and binding on all Nextel Partners shareholders unless challenged by Jan. 9, 2006, the statement said.

Sprint Nextel will focus on integrating Nextel Partners' business into the company's operations, according to a statement attributed to Sprint Nextel President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Forsee.

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