T-mobile to Buy US Cellular’s Wireless Operations in $4.4 Billion Deal

Reuters
By Reuters
May 28, 2024Business News
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T-mobile to Buy US Cellular’s Wireless Operations in $4.4 Billion Deal
A view of a T-Mobile store in Richmond, Calif., on July 27, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

T-Mobile will buy almost all of regional carrier United States Cellular’s wireless operations including customers, stores and 30 percent of its spectrum assets in a deal valued at $4.4 billion, the telecom giant said on Tuesday.

U.S. Cellular’s shares jumped more than 10 percent in trading before the bell and comes nearly ten months after the company said it was exploring strategic options.

U.S. Cellular will retain ownership of about 70 percent of its spectrum, its equity-method investments as well as 4,400 telecom towers. It said T-Mobile will become a long-term tenant on at least at least 2,600 towers.

T-Mobile, which eyes improved coverage for its customers, will fund the deal in a combination of cash and up to $2 billion of debt to be assumed through an exchange offer to be made to some of U.S. Cellular’s debtholders.

T-Mobile does not expect any impact on its financial forecast or shareholder return program for 2024. It expects an yield of about $1 billion in operating expense and capital spending cost synergies.

The deal is expected to close in mid-2025 after regulatory approvals, and shareholders are not expected to act on this deal, U.S. Cellular said.

It added that Telephone and Data Systems, which is a 83 percent shareholder of the regional carrier, has provided written consent approving the deal.

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