Alltel Going Private, Bought Out For $27.5 Billion

Big news for 12 million Alltel Wireless subscribers, Alltel has been bought out for $27.5 billion and will be taken private by its new owners. From SmartMoney:

The deal must be approved by Alltel’s shareholders and by regulators. It is expected to close by March 2008.

Scott Ford, Alltel’s chief executive, was quoted in media reports as saying the buyout price is “a 10% premium over a price that clearly anticipated this outcome.”

Alltel has 12 million subscribers, the fifth-largest among major cell-phone companies, mostly in the Midwest, West and South. It has 15,000 employees.

Ford said no changes are planned in staffing, according to media reports. Ford will still be chief executive.

There had been much speculation that Alltel would be bought out by Verizon, since that company currently leases space on Alltel’s extensive rural network and both networks use the same CDMA technology. —MEGHANN MARCO

Alltel Going Private In $27.5 Billion Buyout [SmartMoney]