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Deutsche Telekom to buy Powertel
Posted: 28-Aug-2000 [Source: FT]

[Deutsche Telekom announced that it will buy Powertel to expand its GSM base in the U.S.]

"Deutsche Telekom is expanding in the US mobile phone market by acquiring Powertel, the local mobile operator in the south east of the country, for about $5.89bn in shares.

"The deal, announced on Monday, comes just weeks after DT moved into the US mobile market through the $50bn acquisition of VoiceStream.

"As that deal has not yet been completed, the latest transaction is structured as an all-share acquisition of Powertel by Voicestream. The two US companies have also agreed that the deal will go ahead even if DT's takeover of VoiceStream is not completed.

"Deutsche Telekom is offering 2.6353 of its shares for each Powertel share.

"DT has encountered political opposition to its presence in the US because the German government is still a substantial shareholder in the company. The US House subcommittee responsible for telecommunications policy will hold hearings next month on a bill that would block the DT-VoiceStream.

"The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Ernest Hollings, the South Carolina Democrat, would prevent any company with more than 25 per cent of its stock owned by a foreign government from acquiring an American phone licence.Powertel's network is based on the same GSM technological standard used by VoiceStream. Most US mobile operators use a competing technology known as CDMA.

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