MetroPCS is asking its stockholders to give the thumbs-up to the latest buyout bid from T-Mobile USA parent Deutsche Telekom.
Following months of talks with MetroPCS, Deutsche Telekom finally sweetened its buyout offer Thursday, prompting the board of MetroPCS to amend its terms for the proposed merger.
Amid some concerns over the deal, Deutsche Telekom reduced the amount of debt the combined company would take on from $15 billion to $11.2 billion. The interest on the debt will also be lowered by 50 basis points, allowing the combined company to more easily pay it back.
To address fears that it could back out of the deal within 12 months by selling shares of the combined company, Deutsche Telekom also promised to increase the lock-up period, meaning it can't sell such shares until after 18 months.
Under the revised agreement, MetroPCS investors will continue to receive an immediate $1.5 billion cash payment, as well as around 26 percent of the combined company.
Some prominent MetroPCS investors had recently urged shareholders to vote against the deal, claiming that it undervalues the company's net worth. But the MetroPCS board had countered the advice of major investors such as Paulson & Co. and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management by asking shareholders to approve the offer.
"We are pleased to offer even more value to MetroPCS stockholders through the amendment of certain terms of our proposed combination with T-Mobile," MetroPCs CEO Roger Linquist said in a statement. "We look forward to achieving the significant benefits inherent in the proposed combination on behalf of our stockholders, employees, customers and partners."
But even if the deal is approved, the merger activity may not end there.
Dish Networks Chairman Charlie Ergen had reportedly chatted informally with Deutsche Telekom about a potential deal to acquire T-Mobile, according to Bloomberg. That chat allegedly occurred before Deutsche Telekom enhanced its offer.
Based on information from certain sources, the report also claimed that Deutsche Telekom might consider Dish's offer, but only after the deal closes between T-Mobile and MetroPCS.
Dish itself is trying to bite off more of the carrier business. The company today launched a $25 billion bid to acquire Sprint.