The largest US wireless carrier, AT&T Inc, yesterday agreed to acquire
rural wireless provider Dobson Communications Corp for $2.8 billion in cash, on
the same day that Apple Inc.''s iPhone was introduced in the market, for which
AT&T is the sole carrier.
chairman Everett Dobson noted that the acquisition by AT&T was the only way
for Dobson''s customers to have access to the device.
offer translates to $13 per share and represents a 17-per cent premium over Dobson''s
closing price yesterday of $11.11 on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Including debt,
the deal is worth a total of about USD 5.1 billion.
1990 the Oklahama-based Dobson has provided roaming services to AT&T. The
acquisition will add Dobson''s 1.7 million customers who subscribe to its Cellular
One brand in rural and suburban markets in 17 states to its own nearly 62 million
Sigman, the president and chief executive of AT&T''s mobility group, said Dobson''s
network and technology would fit almost perfectly with the company''s existing
have often questioned how much larger carriers can grow in the US wireless market
that is already said to be saturated. AT&T is still completing its integration
of BellSouth Corp. and the old AT&T''s long distance business - two major acquisitions
in the last couple of years.
chief executive Randall Stephenson, who took over earlier this month as chief
executive, has said AT&T will be a wireless-centred company in the future.
of Dobson deal came at the close of Stephenson''s first board meeting as the chief
company also said the acquisition would have only minimal effect on the expected
earnings per share for the year and would have a positive and growing effect on
earnings and cash flow in the second year after the deal closes.