LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- Alltel Corp., owner of the nation's largest cell-phone network, said Sunday it had agreed to a buyout by a pair of investment firms in a deal worth about $27.5 billion that must still be approved by the company's shareholders.
The company announced in a news release that it had signed an agreement to be acquired by TPG Capital, formerly Texas Pacific Group, and GS Capital Partners.
The agreement calls for the two firms to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Alltel for $71.50 per share in cash. According to Alltel, that represents a 23% premium over Alltel's share price before word of a possible buyout first appeared in the media on Dec. 29.
Trading in Alltel's stock closed Friday at $65.21, down 14 cents from the day before. The $71.50 per share buyout price would represent a premium of only about 10% over Friday's share price.
The deal, if approved by shareholders and regulators, is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year or the first three months of 2008, Alltel said. The company's release said the buyout was also subject to "customary closing conditions."
"This transaction delivers substantial and certain value to our shareholders while providing the company with long-term partners who share our commitment to our customers, employees and the communities we serve," Alltel chief executive officer Scott Ford said in the release. "This transaction also ensures our customers can continue to rely on Alltel to deliver high-quality service and leading-edge products and services."