Deutsche Telekom’s latest bid to merge its daughter company T-Mobile with MetroPCS has dealt a blow on Sprint Nextel’s value. The third largest wireless carrier in the US walked away from a possible acquisition of MetroPCS in February this year. However, still analysts expect a bid from Sprint on MetroPCS.
The two companies, T-Mobile and MetroPCS forged a deal on Wednesday that will be finalized to a merger in the coming months. Deutsche Telekom will own 74 percent of the stake in the fusion, while the rest will be distributed amongst Metro investors. Analysts, on the other hand, had expected a bigger share going Metro side, in tune of 30 to 35 percent of the stock.
The deal makes DT a winner in the US telecom industry and portrays Sprint as a loser but the possible Sprint bid has not been refuted by experts.
A Sprint counterbid is possible, says Macquarie Capital analyst Kevin Smithen. “While we believe Sprint will walk away from PCS, there is still a chance that, given the modest $150 million break-up fee, that Sprint could offer $14-14.50 per share (for MetroPCS) based on our FCF (free cash flow) accretion analysis, and potentially win this from Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile,” Smithen said in a report.
Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett refused to say on the probability but maintained that a bid is a possibility.
“We currently believe the probability for a competing bid by Sprint for PCS is less than 30%, but the probability could rise if Sprint’s share price were to significantly outperform PCS over the next few weeks,” said
According to some reports, Sprint board is mulling over the idea of a bid. In case of a breakaway bid from the company, it will have to pay the break-up fee to forge a deal with MetroPCS.
In addition, Leap Wireless, another target of acquisition is also in the cards for Sprint. In the event of a no-show at T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger, the company will have to go for Leap to remain in competition.
T-Mobile will increase the wireless spectrum after the merger with Metro to expand its 4G network with the latest LTE technology. This does not bode well for Sprint.
Analysts have said that a deal between Sprint and Leap is only possible if Sprint shares outperform Leap’s with a huge margin, which does not seem to be the case.