Verizon Closes Hard-Fought Straight Path Communications Purchase
Telecom giant Verizon has completed its purchase of wireless spectrum holder Straight Path Communications in a deal that followed an intense, monthlong bidding war between Verizon and rival carrier AT&T last year.
Via the terms of the deal, Verizon has purchased Straight Path for $3.1 billion in an all-stock transaction. As of Wednesday, Straight Path is a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon and its shares are being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
Verizon, based in Basking Ridge, N.J., said in May that the deal will give the carrier valuable millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum licenses that cover the entire U.S., including within the top 40 markets.
Straight Path holds an extensive portfolio of hard-to-come-by 39GHz and 28GHz wireless spectrum licenses that carriers can use to develop 5G networks. As such, these licenses were appealing to AT&T and Verizon as the two providers aggressively build out their next-generation networks.
Dallas-based AT&T first revealed plans to acquire Straight Path in April for $95.63 per share, or $1.6 billion. Later in the same month, an unnamed bidder came forward with an offer of $104.64 per share, or $1.8 billion. The unnamed bidder followed up in May with a second bid of $184 per share, or $3.1 billion, nearly doubling AT&T's offer.
Straight Path said it gave AT&T the opportunity to improve its bid, but the carrier chose not to make any amendments to its offer. Glen Allen, Va.-based Straight Path considered the unnamed bidder, then confirmed to be Verizon, as having proposed a superior bid. The deal with Verizon was approved on Aug. 2, 2017, at a special meeting of the shareholders of Straight Path, the company said.