Verizon considering topping AT&T's bid for Straight Path: sources

Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:21pm EDT
 
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By Liana B. Baker and Greg Roumeliotis

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote) is considering making a buyout offer for Straight Path Communications Inc (STRP.A: Quote) which would top AT&T Inc's (T.N: Quote) $1.25 billion bid, people familiar with the matter said.

Shares of Straight Path, a holder of wireless spectrum licenses sought after by service providers like Verizon and AT&T, rose 9.4 percent to $100.03 in after-market trading.

Straight Path said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that a third party, which it did not name, was evaluating making an offer that would top AT&T's bid. (bit.ly/2pc8Nn0)

The party had also been bidding to acquire the company before AT&T made its offer, Straight Path said.

Verizon declined to comment on what it called rumors and speculation. AT&T did not immediately respond to requests for comment and Straight Path declined to comment.

Straight Path on Monday agreed to be acquired by AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, for $95.63 per share. The price represented a hefty 162.1 percent premium to Straight Path's April 7 closing price.

The wireless spectrum held by Straight Path is expected to play a large role in the latest 5G networks. Both AT&T and bigger rival Verizon have been conducting 5G trials.

Verizon is testing a 5G fixed wireless service with equipment maker Ericsson in 11 markets in the United States and expects a commercial launch as early as 2018.   Continued...

 
FILE PHOTO -- A Verizon sign is seen at a retail store in San Diego, California, U.S. on April 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo