Thursday, September 4, 2008

US Cellular Aims for Alltel Spinoffs?

This week US Cellular, and their parent company TDS, announced the moving of their stock exchange listings from the American Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). When a company moves to the NYSE, they are presumed to become a "bigger player". This may be totally unrelated, but wouldn't it make sense that US Cellular is gearing up to hit the financial markets to take out a loan so they can purchase the assets of Alltel that Verizon Wireless is about to sell for approval of their acquisition of Alltel?

Verizon did just this same kind of deal when they combined Bell Atlantic Mobile, GTE Cellular, Airtouch and several other companies to create Verizon Wireless in 2000, and spun off the 'extras' to Alltel. A deal with US Cellular would satisfy the feds, place the network in 'friendly' hands, and keep it away from AT&T who still has serious gaps in the western US. And US Cellular just happens to be a CDMA carrier like Alltel.

We were holding off writing a story about such a deal because it seemed like a "wish list", but now with US Cellular entering the circus center ring, they just may be ready to play with the big boys. Are you feeling the tingle, too?


Anonymous said...

It is so good to see USCC continue to grow. Some of the markets that would be up for grabs are in areas where they previously had service and sold them to AT&T about 4 years ago.

Oz Andrews said...

Yes, for every hint that US Cellular may be looking at Alltel, there is evidence that they aren't. They have already spent money on new spectrum, and they have sold off assets in the past. These Alltel spinoffs won't be final until the FCC tells Verizon how much needs to be sold, then the horse trading can begin.