Monday, November 28, 2011

Could Deutsche Telekom Buy Sprint-Nextel?

Though virtually all the acquisition and merger talk involving T-Mobile USA has involved some other entity buying the Deutsche Telekom unit, at least one observer speculates about whether T-Mobile USA could be a big acquirer.

The notion is that Deutsche Telekom could buy Sprint Nextel, for roughly one times that firm's annual revenue. Sprint’s market cap is $7.2 billion. Its long-term debt is $16.3 billion against a cash position of only $3.7 billion. The total cost of an acquisition would be $30 billion if shareholders got some premium. That is nearly as much as Sprint’s annual revenue of $32 billion. Will Deutsche Telekom Buy Sprint-Nextel (S)? - 24/7 Wall St. Could DT Buy Sprint?

The $4 billion break-up fee if AT&T cannot get regulatory approval to buy T-Mobile USA would help. Some will question how much help that amount could provide. DT faces significant investment challenges related to the coming Long Term Evolution network that must be funded.

Some will challenge the notion that DT can afford to spend scarce capital in the U.S. market when it faces key challenges in its arguably more important European markets. Others will simply say merging a number three and number four in the market will help, but not enough to justify the investment. Will Deutsche Telekom Buy Sprint-Nextel

But there also is an expectation that further consolidation of mobile and other telecom assets around the world is on the agenda, one way or the other. Mergers inevitable?

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