Markets

Speculation produces possible Sprint suitor

A potential buyer has emerged for what many consider to be the cellular industry's weakest major player, one which could be in search of a parent company.

Bloomberg reports the top official of Sprint (S) told Congress last week that his company would likely face purchase should federal regulators approve AT&T's ( ATT ) proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, which was announced in March after both companies' boards approved the pact. Louisiana-based CenturyLink ( CTL ), a large telecommunications firm, has no wireless division.

"CenturyLink is a company with a really good balance sheet and looking for areas to invest its capital, its free cash flow in growth," Chris Larsen, a New York-based Piper Jaffray analyst, told the news service. "If Sprint can stabilize and then begin to grow its customer base, it becomes a growth vehicle for them."

Verizon (VZ) would tumble from its top spot in the industry if number two AT&T and number four T-Mobile merge. Sprint is a distant number three and has vowed to challenge the merger, according to bizjournals.com .

"If CenturyLink imagines itself as a long-term player in the enterprise segment, they may need to add wireless," according to Craig Moffett of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. "You have to put them as perhaps the most likely long- term acquirer" for Sprint.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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