Sprint Nextel Corp said yesterday it would buy its largest affiliate Nextel Partners Inc for $6.5bn in cash.
The deal, which must now get regulatory approval, was spurred by Sprint Nextel’s acquisition of Next Communications earlier this year. Sprint Nextel currently owns 32% of the company, but was forced to buy it outright, after months of dispute over the purchase price.
The deal, which works out to $28.50 a share in cash, will become the sixth affiliate purchase by Sprint Nextel. The deals have become a way for Sprint Nextel to resolve a number of contract disputes created by its purchase of Nextel.
The Nextel Partners deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.