(Corrects debt portion of deal to $550 mln instead of $600 mln
after AT&T clarification)
Aug 2 AT&T Inc has agreed to buy the
equity of NextWave Wireless Inc for up to $50 million
in cash in an effort to expand its spectrum needed for
high-speed wireless services.
In a separate agreement with NextWave's debtholders, the
company's outstanding debt will be acquired by AT&T or retired
by NextWave, for $5 5 0 million.
The equity portion of the deal includes a roughly $25
million payment plus a contingent payment of up to approximately
$25 million, AT&T said In a statement on Thursday.
AT&T said it expects the deal, which is subject to U.S.
regulatory review, to close by the end of the year. The U.S.
Federal Communications Commission would need to approve the
spectrum license sale and NextWave's transfer of assets may be
subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino review by the Federal Trade
Commission and the Department of Justice.
Should AT&T gain all required regulatory approvals, it said
it expects it would begin to use NextWave's spectrum licenses
for the Wireless Communication Services (WCS) spectrum to offer
high-speed services in about three years.
The WCS spectrum, which was first auctioned in 1997, has not
been used for mobile Internet services because of technical
rules aimed at avoiding interference with satellite radio
services like those offered by Sirius XM Radio Inc.
NextWave also has licenses in the Advance Wireless Service
(Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)