A new report filed by The Wall Street Journal this morning has shed light on some key details of the MetroPCS-T-Mobile USA merger which will be complete next year.
According to the report, Dish Network and another unnamed company, generally agreed upon to be Sprint but unnamed in the Dish Network 10-K filing and only known as “Company G” were making bids for the regional carrier all the way until the night before announcement of its planned merger with T-Mobile USA in a reverse merger.
Before the announcement, Dish Network was prepared to pay up to $4 billion for the carrier with talks beginning in March, but the MetroPCS board rejected the offer early in August in favor of Deustche Telekom’s offer only minutes before the announcement was set to go out to all press.
With the latest confirmation of the companies involved in attempting to purchase MetroPCS, it underscores how poorly Sprint handled its own attempt to purchase the carrier this year in February, as it was prepared to pay up to $8 billion in a debt-backed deal before a CNBC leak led to it being summarily rejected by the board of directors. Now that Sprint is receiving the same amount of backing by Japanese carrier SoftBank in a 70% stake purchase, it remains to be seen whether the carrier will attempt to purchase the newly merged T-Mobile when those respective deals are complete.
With Dish Network holding on to a sizable amount of wireless spectrum over the past four years, its own ambitions to become a wireless carrier have not been diminished, especially with reports of discussions with Google over the possibility of forming an alliance to become a new wireless carrier bearing some substance in the past week.
Past remarks from CEO Charlie Egren suggest that had it been able to come to an agreement with MetroPCS, the announcement would have been a “gamechanger” in his words, as the purchase of MetroPCS would have involved the same cash/stock deal that DT gave MetroPCS at percentages of 25% premium over its stock price set at $11, with 30% of the purchase price in cash and the remainder in stock.
Currently, Dish Network has yet to do anything with its wireless spectrum holdings, taking a proactive stance regarding cutting deals for partnerships, as it currently lacks both the regulatory approvals and infrastructure to take advantage of its wireless spectrum holdings at this time, despite having long-held aspirations to diversify its business by becoming its own wireless carrier in past years.