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Hedge fund manager sees T-Mobile as takeover target

updated 07:45 pm EDT, Sat July 20, 2013

Dish, Sprint tipped as possibly acquiring T-Mobile

John Paulson's firm is the largest outside investor in T-Mobile, and the hedge fund manager said recently that the carrier could be ripe for a takeover by either of two other wireless industry players. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Paulson sees both Sprint and Dish Network as potential suitors for the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States. Paulson's musings on the matter went out in the form of a letter to Paulson & Co. clients this week.

"While the [T-Mobile-MetroPCS] merger closed, we continue to hold the stock as we believe that T-Mobile remains a potential takeover target for either Dish or Sprint," Paulson's note read.

The development would mark just another in a wave of consolidations that have occurred in the wireless industry over the past few years. In addition to T-Mobile merging with MetroPCS, Sprint closed its acquisition of Clearwire earlier this month, even as that carrier is being acquired by Japanese carrier SoftBank.

Additionally, AT&T, the United States' second-largest carrier, recently announced an agreement to acquire Leap Wireless for $15 per share.

Dish Network has been looking to step into the wireless service arena, a move that would make it a novel player in the industry, providing both satellite television and cellular service. The firm recently tried to buy Sprint, though its offer apparently was unappealing to Sprint shareholders.

Were Sprint to acquire T-Mobile, the combination would still likely be smaller than both AT&T and Verizon, though the resulting entity would be more in keeping with the vision of Sprint's new controlling interest, SoftBank. SoftBank has said already that its plan is to continue to grow Sprint's service capabilities by adding spectrum, something a T-Mobile acquisition could very well facilitate.

by MacNN Staff



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