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AT&T outbid for Straight Path by mystery firm rumored to be Verizon

Posted: , by Alan F.

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AT&T outbid for Straight Path by mystery firm rumored to be Verizon
Earlier this month, AT&T bid $1.6 billion for Straight Path Communications. At the time of the announcement, it was assumed that the nation's second largest carrier wanted Straight Path's 28 GHz and 39 GHz millimeter wave spectrum for its upcoming 5G pipeline; the 28GHz/38GHz bands are being considered for 5G use. The price included liabilities that Straight Path was ultimately responsible for.

Immediately after AT&T announced its bid, which works out to $95.63 a share, analysts started naming other carriers that they felt were interested in Straight Path too. As it turns out, at least one other company was interested enough to lob in a higher $1.8 billion bid today for the company. The price of the unsolicited offer is $104.64 a share. It is hard to believe, but before AT&T started all of this commotion, Straight Path was trading at $36.48.

One of the names mentioned as a possible buyer by analysts was Verizon. Straight Path's spectrum is considered high frequency, which means that it has a limited range and doesn't penetrate buildings too well. As a result, some industry analysts say that a company that owns a wired network, like Verizon does (in addition to its wireless network), would benefit the most from purchasing the company. Reuters is reporting that the mystery bidder, known only as a "multi-national telecommunications company" is indeed Verizon.

So here is where things stand. AT&T now has five business days to top the new bid. If AT&T walks away, it will receive a $38 million break up free from Straight Path. Not bad for giving up on the acquisition of a company that was more suited for Verizon to buy anyway.

source: WirelessWeek

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