VoiceStream up on buyout rumours

The Financial Times has reported that Deutsche Telekom is contemplating a deal that would value VoiceStream at over £19.8bn
Written by Margaret Kane, Contributor

Shares of VoiceStream Wireless jumped in pre-market trading, after reports surfaced about a possible buyout. Germany's Deutsche Telekom is rumoured to be interested in the firm. The Financial Times reported that Deutsche Telekom is considering a deal that would value VoiceStream at more than $30bn (£19.8bn).

VoiceStream was trading at 139 1/4 in pre-market reports, up from Monday's close of 124 15/16.

Deutsche Telekom declined to comment on the reports. It has also been mentioned as a possible suitor for Sprint following the dissolution of its merger with WorldCom.

Finnish telecom operator Sonera on Tuesday declined comment on whether it had been asked to sell its 7.9 percent stake in VoiceStream, but described its stake as a long-term investment.

Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo has also been rumoured to be interested in VoiceStream, with reports at the end of May saying it was in talks on taking a 15 to 20 percent stake.

VoiceStream was spun off from Western Wireless last year. The company, one of the few independent wireless service providers, missed expectations for the first quarter, reporting a net loss of $203.3m, or $1.68 per share. The consensus of analysts reported by First Call was a $1.14 per share loss.

But the company reported that its customer base rose 334 percent year-over-year to 1.8 million, including 1.3 million monthly subscribers and more than half a million prepaid users.

Last month, VoiceStream agreed to sell its OmniPoint Technologies division to Xircom in a stock deal worth $52.2m. That deal also gave VoiceStream a minority stake in Xircom.

VoiceStream competes with Vodafone, Nextel Communications and Sprint.

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